HomeBuilder and retirement living update

HomeBuilder, in a quick recap, is a Federal Government grant designed to literally help dig the Australian economy out of recession. When the scheme was first announced, government had confirmed that retirement living was not to be specifically excluded in the scheme.

Through this logic, government conceded that the various models of retirement living in Australia should be eligible under the scheme. However, this situation has since changed and not in the favour of the Australian retirement living industry.

The official FAQ that was released on 18 June said that those that wanted to build a new home in a land lease community or retirement village would only be eligible if the owner-occupier is “listed on the property’s certificate of title. The owner-occupier must also be a natural person (not a company or trust), and meet the other eligibility criteria of the program.”

These specifications are different to the updated HomeBuilder FAQ that was changed on 15 July, with a new passage being added. Now those that wish to build a new home in a land lease community or retirement village are no longer able to access the scheme with the rules now stating that “HomeBuilder is not intended for properties where the applicant does not own the property (both dwelling and land) – such as where a tenant lives at a property owned by somebody else, or where a person lives in a dwelling that they own and that is situated on land owned by somebody else.”.

This is a disappointing outcome, with the government continuing to ignore the industry’s requests for help and guidance. The Retirement Living Council continues to work with various state divisions to help highlight the urgency of this omission to government.

The RLC will provide updates in future, as meetings and submissions continue to alert government to the issues at hand.