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Everything you need to know about the Government home renovation grant

Eligible Australians can apply for a $25,000 home renovation grant under a new Federal Government scheme to re-start the construction sector in the wake of coronavirus. The grant scheme will help around 27,000 people build or substantially renovate their home.

  • $680m+ allocated to HomeBuilder
  • Open to eligible owner-occupiers and first home buyers
  • You can access $25k for home renovations
  • Minimum renovation value and other eligibility criteria apply
  • Open for contracts signed before Thursday, 31 December 2020
  • Grants assessed and implemented by State authorities

In this guide, we’re going to explain HomeBuilder in detail and let you know how to apply for the $25,000 home renovation grant.

HomeBuilder at a glance

HomeBuilder is a time-limited grant for eligible owner-occupiers and new home buyers. By making building and renovating more accessible for thousands of Australians.

You don’t need to build a new home to access HomeBuilder. This is great news for anyone considering substantial home renovations in 2020, with capital and income in line with HomeBuilder’s eligibility criteria.

Why the Government is encouraging construction

Australia’s construction sector:

  • Generates over $360bn revenue
  • Is our 3rd largest sector
  • Accounts for 9% of national GDP
  • Employs more than 1.2m people, mostly small businesses (1-20 employees)

HomeBuilder Eligibility criteria explained

HomeBuilder is open to the thousands of Australian adults who own their own home or are planning to build. To qualify for a home renovation grant, you must meet these personal criteria:

  • You are 18 or older
  • You are an Australian citizen
  • You come under these income caps for the 2018/19 tax year (or later)
    • $125k per year for individuals
    • $200k per year for couples

Do I need to build a new home to access HomeBuilder?

No, the good news is HomeBuilder is also a home renovation grant. However, you are not automatically eligible for any renovation project. Your renovation contract (with a licenced building contractor) must meet these eligibility criteria:

  • You sign a home renovation or building contract between 4 June and 31 December 2020
  • Home renovation contract is between $150k and $750k
  • Property value (before renovation) does not exceed $1.5m
  • You are the registered owner on the title and live at the property

Here’s what the Government fact sheet says about substantial renovations:

“To be substantial, the renovation need not involve removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases. However, it should improve the accessibility or safety or liveability of the property. How accessibility and liveability requirements are assessed for renovations is a matter for States and Territories.

Examples of works that would not qualify include standalone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts, and structures that are not connected to the property (i.e. outdoor spas and saunas, sheds or standalone garages).”

HomeBuilder for home builders

The grant is also open to people building brand new homes, provided they are owner-occupiers and make the property their principal place of residence when it’s finished.

  • Investment properties and owner-builders are not eligible
  • Same personal and income criteria apply to home builders
  • Property value cannot exceed $750,000 (including land)

One of the biggest groups to benefit – alongside home renovators – is first home builders. The HomeBuilder grant does not cancel out concessions like First Home Owners Grant, First Home Loan Deposit Scheme or stamp duty relief for new builds. Instead, it provides an additional $25,000 incentive to build their first home this year.

Why is there a minimum home renovation value?

To receive a home renovation grant, the contract value must be between $150,000 and $750,000. This is only for the renovation work: the property value (up to $1,500,000) is assessed separately. You can only apply for HomeBuilder once per property, and if more than one person is listed on the title you must apply as a couple.

While the Government has not said as much, the understanding is the value cap will prevent investors and landlords from accessing home renovation funds to boost the value of their investment and line their pockets.

HomeBuilder is a construction stimulus package, but it is also designed to help first home builders and owner-occupiers needing renovations to improve their quality of life. While the income limits and minimum home renovation value may preclude some homeowners from undertaking minor renovations, the grant was always intended to supplement significant investment from homeowners who might have been considering delaying their home renovations until 2021.

How can I access the $25k HomeBuilder grant for home renovations?

HomeBuilder is being assessed and distributed by the relevant State or Territory treasury departments. In Western Australia, RevenueWA is accepting HomeBuilder applications for new homes and home renovation grants. You can find more information about the application process and apply for a home renovation grant on the WA State Government website.

Note: RevenueWA is also offering a $20,000 “Building Bonus” grant for new homes on vacant land and off-the-plan builds. This is additional to HomeBuilder and not to be confused with the $25,000 Commonwealth grant.

When are applications assessed?

Applications are currently open with RevenueWA. The office has not specified how long the process takes; however, eligible applications are being backdated to 4 June 2020. That means you should still be able to apply retroactively for an eligible construction or home renovation project already underway.

When should I apply and when will I receive the money?

Applications must be submitted by 31 December 2020 to be considered.

Turnaround time should be quick to stimulate the economy. How long assessment and payment take will depend on the volume of applications received.

What if my eligibility changes?

If circumstances change and you are no longer eligible for HomeBuilder, you need to notify RevenueWA immediately. Providing false or misleading information is a criminal offence, and anyone caught trying to cheat the system may face prosecution.

Accessing HomeBuilder for home renovations

Addstyle Master Builders is Western Australia’s most awarded home renovation builder for a reason. As well as delivering exceptionally high renovation quality standards, we are committed to making the renovation process simple for our clients.

Our team has researched extensively into the HomeBuilder grant, so we can guide you through the application process. If you are considering a home renovation project in 2020 then get in touch for a no-obligation consultation. As well as industry-leading construction advice, we can help you determine if you may be eligible for a home renovation grant.