HomeBuilder scheme providing $25,000 home renovation subsidies axed in the Budget

Revealed: The home renovation scheme quietly axed in the Budget just months after it was launched – so how long do YOU have?

  • HomeBuilder scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants was discontinued
  • The $688million program available to build new house worth up to $750,000
  • Grant was also available to renovate an existing home worth  up to $1.5million
  • Home First Loan Deposit Scheme instead extended to cover newly-built homes 

A controversial home construction scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants has been quietly axed in the Budget just four months after it was launched.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in June unveiled the $688million HomeBuilder program offering 27,000 subsidies in the hope this would support 140,000 jobs in the struggling construction sector.

Australians were able to claim $25,000 from taxpayers to build a new house worth up to $750,000 or renovate an existing one valued between $750,000 and $1.5million.

A controversial home construction scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants has been quietly axed in the Budget just four months after it was launched. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in June unveiled the $688million HomeBuilder program offering 27,000 subsidies in the hope this would support 140,000 jobs in the struggling construction sector. Pictured is a Melbourne house under construction

A controversial home construction scheme providing $25,000 renovation grants has been quietly axed in the Budget just four months after it was launched. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in June unveiled the $688million HomeBuilder program offering 27,000 subsidies in the hope this would support 140,000 jobs in the struggling construction sector. Pictured is a Melbourne house under construction

Despite that, building approvals in New South Wales, Australia’s most populated state, plunged by 14.2 per cent in August.

This however followed a 32 per cent increase in July as the aftermath of coronavirus lockdown delays caused a short-lived spike in approvals.

National building approvals fell by 1.6 per cent in August, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics results released less than a week before Budget day.

The Budget papers released on Tuesday showed no further funding for HomeBuilder, which ends on December 31.

Singles earning up to $125,000 and couples on combined incomes of $200,000 are eligible to apply during the next 12 weeks, provided construction is scheduled to begin within three months of the contract date.

Labor’s housing spokesman Jason Clare criticised the government for axing the HomeBuilder scheme rather than fixing it.

‘I thought one of the things that would be in the Budget last night is a fix to their bungled HomeBuilder scheme,’ he said.

‘The scheme’s rolling out too slowly. It’s too restrictive. 

‘For people in Sydney, it’s very hard to buy a house and land package for less than $750,000.’

The Budget papers released on Tuesday showed no further funding for HomeBuilder, which ends on December 31. Pictured is Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivering a post-Budget address in Canberra on Wednesday

The Budget papers released on Tuesday showed no further funding for HomeBuilder, which ends on December 31. Pictured is Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivering a post-Budget address in Canberra on Wednesday

Sydney’s median house price stood at $983,262 in September while Melbourne’s equivalent value was $780,836, CoreLogic data showed.

Recipients of the HomeBuilder scheme would not have qualified to build a brand new house, with a median price, in Australia’s two biggest cities but they would have been eligible for a grant to renovate an existing, mid-priced home.

The government instead announced, three days before Tuesday’s Budget, the extension of the $500million First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.

Instead of stumping up for a 20 per cent deposit, a property newcomer only have to save for a five per cent deposit with taxpayers underwriting the rest.

Another 10,000 places were offered as of Tuesday, whereby recipients have until June 30 next year to build a new home or a newly-built one.

In 2020, the program has helped 20,000 first-home buyers but the first tranche was not restricted to new or newly-built homes.  

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