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HomeBuilder grant extension welcomed by building industry

The HIA and Master Builders have hailed the Federal Government’s decision to extend the HomeBuilder grant until the end of March. Source: Timberbiz

“The extension of HomeBuilder is both a step forward for jobs and a step towards a return to pre-COVID levels of home building for the housing industry. Most importantly the extension of HomeBuilder will provide a step up for thousands more Australians who aspire to home ownership,” HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe said.

“HIA is pleased the Government has directly taken on board our advice to extend HomeBuilder and make some improvements to the operation of the scheme.”

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn said the extension was evidence of the Federal Government’s ironclad determination to achieve economic recovery

“The Morrison Government knows all too well that a strong building industry means a strong economy. That’s why they are making our in-dustry the accelerators of recovery and why they are backing in more than 360,000 home builder and tradie businesses with (this) announcement,” she said.

Mr Wolfe said that an extension to HomeBuilder was not only warrant-ed but a necessary measure that would support the Australian economy into 2021 and beyond.

“HIA’s forecasts predicted a significant drop in housing demand in 2021 as HomeBuilder projects finished,” he said.

“This extension will ensure that the demand is carried forward to 2021 and activity will continue throughout the year.

“This HomeBuilder extension brings welcome certainty and stability that will allow the Australian housing market to push forward into 2022, regain its pre-COVID confidence and maintain a steady supply of housing at an affordable rate for Australians.”

Mr Wolfe said HomeBuilder had been an incredibly successful pro-gram, creating and maintaining jobs in the residential building industry, as well as keeping the supply of housing at a sustainable level during 2020.

HIA estimates that the extension of HomeBuilder will see at least 12,000 more new housing projects and a further 3000 to 5000 major renovation projects, take up the scheme, generating an additional $6 billion in construction work boosting economic activity and supporting hundreds of thousands of workers directly, up and down the supply chain.

“For Victoria and NSW, including the Hunter and Illawarra regions, the adjustments to the price caps will attract additional home buyers to the scheme,” Mr Wolfe said.

“Combined with the critical additional time to commence for both new and current applicants, giving builders six months from signing a con-tract to start work, HIA expects the take up of the grant will remain strong.

“HomeBuilder has exceeded industry’s expectations for both new home projects and renovation work. HomeBuilder has generated jobs in construction, manufacturing and retail, supported Australians to take up home ownership and will continue to underpin the Australian economy in 2021 and beyond,” Mr Wolfe said.

Ms Wawn said that extending HomeBuilder was a giant leap forward towards economic recovery.

“It will generate billions in economic activity, help save thousands of builder and tradie businesses from going under and protect thousands more jobs in the building supply chain,” Denita Wawn said.

“Today’s announcement is reflection of the Morrison Government’s will-ingness to listen and act resolutely in the community’s interest,” she said.

“Master Builders has been calling for HomeBuilder to be extended for months. Our forecasts show that despite the hugely positive impact of HomeBuilder Mark I the housing sector still faces a devastatingly steep decline putting thousands of businesses and jobs in jeopardy. We par-ticularly recognise the efforts of the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing who has been an unceasing advocate for our industry and game-changing effectiveness of the HomeBuilder,” she said.

“Importantly, this move will help create a pipeline of work for commer-cial construction businesses that build high rise apartments and other medium density dwellings. Our forecasts show that their forward work is about to fall off a cliff with apartment construction activity facing a massive 40% drop,” she said.

“The HomeBuilder grants are also the leg up that thousands of Aussies need to help them overcome the daunting deposit gap and get them-selves into the housing market.”