Money & Finance

HomeBuilder Grant Program: Everything You Need To Know

G.J. Gardner Homes is committed to supporting communities across Australia through helping our customers build their dream home in an area they love.

We’re pleased by the announcement of the extension to the HomeBuilder grant program by the Australian Government, and are ready to do our part in stimulating the growth of Australia’s economy.

No matter whether you are looking to upsize or downsize, knock down and rebuild, or you are a first home buyer—we’re here to help. We’ve outlined the details of the HomeBuilder grant program below. If you have any questions, our dedicated local teams can guide you through the process.

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About the HomeBuilder Grant Program

What is the HomeBuilder grant program?

Announced in June 2020, the HomeBuilder program is a nationwide government program to support Australian homeowners and the Australian construction sector.

How much is the HomeBuilder grant program for?

Building contracts signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for a $25,000 grant. Building contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021 will be eligible to apply for a $15,000 grant.

How does the HomeBuilder grant program work?

Under the program, individuals or couples who are building or renovating their homes can apply for a single payment.

This program differs from existing schemes in that you don’t have to be a first home buyer to be eligible. If you are an existing owner-occupier and meet the criteria, you are also eligible.


Eligibility

Do I qualify for the HomeBuilder grant?

To be eligible for the HomeBuilder grant, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen aged 18 and older
  • Be an individual – not a company or trust
  • Be on an income of less than $125,000 for an individual, or $200,000 as a couple (based on 2018/19 tax return or later)

New build

If you are building a new home, there is a price cap on the total value. For building contracts signed before 31 December 2020, there is a new build property price cap of $750,000 (including land) for all States and Territories.

For contracts signed between 1 January 2021 and 31 March 2021, there are varying limits by State and Territory:

  • New South Wales – $950,000
  • Victoria – $850,000
  • All other States and Territories – $750,000

Knock down rebuild

If you are looking to knock down and rebuild, the value of the existing home and land pre-renovation must be less than $1.5 million. You then must be spending $150,000 to $750,000 on the rebuild. The funds may only be used for renovations that are connected to the home, like renovations to the kitchen or bathroom. You may not use the funds for additions that are not connected to the home, like swimming pools, sheds, garages, tennis courts, etc.

You must use a using licensed builder to carry out the work and construction must commence within six months of construction contract date.

This grant is not offered to those building or renovating investment properties.

Eligibility scenarios

The following eligibility scenarios are adapted from the Australian Government’s HomeBuilder Fact Sheet.

Scenario One: Knock Down Rebuild

Owner occupiers Jacqui and Henry decide to knock down and rebuild their existing home
Jacqui and Henry enter into a building contract to knock down and rebuild their existing home on 24 August 2020, with the knockdown and rebuild contract valued at $400,000. The value of the property is $800,000 (including the current value of the dwelling and land). The couple pay the builder $15,000 to commence the knockdown and rebuild on 14 September. Jacqui and Henry’s bank applies on the couple’s behalf to the relevant State or Territory revenue office to receive the HomeBuilder $25,000 grant.

The revenue office conducts the eligibility checks and confirms that the couple own the property, are Australian citizens, over the age of 18, have a combined taxable income under $200,000 based on their 2018-19 tax return, and the value of their existing home and land pre-renovation is less than $1.5 million.

The building contract is also within the HomeBuilder renovations price range (between $150,000 and $750,000) and the couple have made the first progress payment on the renovations. The revenue office approves the application. As Jacqui and Henry already own their own home, they are not eligible for the First Home Owner Grant, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

Scenario Two: House And Land Package (First Home Buyers)

First home buyers Emma and Liam decide to purchase a house and land package. Emma and Liam enter into a house and land contract for $550,000 on 25 September 2020. Emma and Liam’s bank applies on the couple’s behalf to the relevant State or Territory revenue office to receive the HomeBuilder $25,000 grant. The revenue office conducts the eligibility checks and reviews the couple’s documentation and confirms that both Emma and Liam are Australian citizens, over the age of 18, have a combined taxable income under $200,000 based on their 2018-19 tax return and the value of the contract is under the $750,000 contract price cap.

As the couple are both first home buyers, Emma and Liam may also be entitled to their State’s First Home Owner Grant and stamp duty concessions as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme.

Scenario Three: New Home Build

Carla and Andrew decide to build a new home on a vacant block of land that they already own. The value of the vacant block is $400,000 and the building contract that Carla and Andrew sign is for $300,000. Carla and Andrew enter into the building contract on 4 July 2020 and make the first progress payment when construction commences on 2 August 2020.

The State that Carla and Andrew live in signs the HomeBuilder National Partnership Agreement on 23 August 2020 and starts to receive HomeBuilder applications through the revenue office on 27 August.

Carla and Andrew apply for HomeBuilder via the relevant revenue office which conducts the eligibility checks and confirms that both Carla and Andrew are Australian citizens, over the age of 18, have a taxable income under $200,000 based on their 2018-19 tax returns, the value of the property (house and land) is less than $750,000, the contract was signed on or after 4 June 2020 and before 31 December 2020, and they have made the first progress payment. The revenue office approves the application.

As Carla and Andrew are not first home buyers, they are not eligible for the First Home Owner Grant, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or the First Home Super Saver Scheme.


Applying

Information on the application processes for those wishing to access the Commonwealth HomeBuilder grant is available through the relevant State and Territory Revenue Offices.

Australian Capital Territory

Contact the ACT Revenue Office

New South Wales

Contact the New South Wales Revenue Office, Revenue NSW

Northern Territory

Contact the Territory Revenue Office

Queensland

Contact the Queensland Office of State Revenue

South Australia

Contact the South Australian Revenue Office, RevenueSA

Tasmania

Contact the State Revenue Office of Tasmania

Victoria

Contact the State Revenue Office Victoria

Western Australia

Contact the Western Australia Revenue Office via the Western Australia Department of Finance


FAQs

How long does this grant program run for?

This program is offered for construction contracts that are entered between 4 June 2020 and 31 March 2021. Applications can be submitted up until 14 April 2021.

Can I apply for the HomeBuilder grant program and a First Home Owners grant?

Yes. The program will work alongside any existing government schemes, including the First Home Owners Grant in your state as well as the Federal Government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme. Keep in mind that eligibility criteria differs between each.

For more information about the First Home Owners’ Grants in your state, read our handy guides:

Are knock down rebuilds eligible as part of the grant?

Yes. Many people who meet the criteria will be eligible to access the grant for a knock down rebuild.

Will I be eligible if my partner is not a citizen?

Similar to other First Home Owner schemes and grants, you must be an Australian citizen to be eligible for the HomeBuilder Grant Program. Eligibility is based on property ownership, meaning your state may approve your joint application as long as one party meets all eligibility requirements.

Can I sign building contracts now, but delay my construction start date?

You must start construction within six months of signing the building contracts. As this grant scheme will run from 4 June 2020 to the 31 March 2021, you can start construction as late as September 2021 if contracts are signed and approval is granted by 14 April 2021.

Can I put the grant towards a deposit?

Yes, you can. Keep in mind that banks are considering HomeBuilder in a similar way the first home owner grant, where it will contribute to customer savings. An NAB spokesperson said the bank’s lending policies would continue to apply. An ANZ spokesperson said the grant could be used as part of the equity a customer contributed to building costs, as long as a loan was not subject to lenders mortgage insurance (LMI).

Who is in charge of the grant?

Each state and territory will approve and fulfil these grants. The intention is that the delivery of the HomeBuilder grants will be similar to each state’s own property grant programs. Each state may provide additional home subsidies or support depending on a case-by-case basis.

If I have already received a First Home Owner grant, am I ineligible for HomeBuilder?

Receiving a First Home Owner grant from your state doesn’t make you ineligible for HomeBuilder. The HomeBuilder Grant Program is designed to assist all types of occupying-owners, as long as all criteria is met. Further, if you are eligible for your state’s First Home Owner grant and the HomeBuilder scheme, you can apply for both and be granted both.

If I signed construction contracts before the 4th of June, am I still eligible?

Unfortunately you are not eligible if the contract is dated before the 4th of June 2020.

What proof or documents will I need to provide when I apply?

You will need the following when you apply:

  • Proof of identity
  • A copy of the contract dated and signed by the applicant and the nominated registered/licensed builder
  • A copy of your builder’s registration or license, depending on state or territory
  • A copy of your 2018-2019 tax return or later to illustrate your income eligibility (and your partner’s)
  • Documents such as council development approvals, building contracts, occupation certificates and evidence of land value

Do you have more questions? Contact your local G.J. Gardner office. We’re here to help.

This article was last updated on 30 November 2020