HomeBuilder and retirement living 

HomeBuilder represents an important stepping-stone to Australia’s economic recovery. The property industry has the potential to revitalise and reinvigorate the Australian economy.

Announced on 4 June, HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. The premise of this scheme being to assist the residential construction market by encouraging the commencement of new home builds and renovations.

In May the Property Council published a comprehensive Seven-Point Plan designed to stimulate construction, grow skills, attract investment and boost confidence across the industry as a whole.

Point One is aimed at launching a housing construction economic kickstart, purposely devised to use the huge economic multiplier of the construction industry to help get the economy moving again.

The Property Council recommended the introduction of a ‘New Home Boost’ for owner-occupier housing and retirement living that would work as a demand stimulus that could lead to the construction of new dwellings, and support 200,000+ jobs.

HomeBuilder represents a tangible opportunity to achieve this goal and to invest in retirement living, an industry that plays a unique role in Australian society.

The Australian Government has made it clear that owner-occupiers of retirement villages and land lease communities are eligible for the HomeBuilder grant.

The Property Council is now working with state and territory governments to find alternative evidentiary arrangements to make sure new retirement living residents, who will not be listed on the certificate of title for the property, can access the grant.  In this regard, we are asking that the unique contractual and land title arrangements for retirement villages and land lease communities are taken into consideration when determining the evidentiary requirements that will fulfill the Principles for applicant eligibility set by the Australian government.

There will be further advocacy updates to the wider industry after more coherent and clear directives are offered by various governments. There has been a great deal of industry consultation to help create a clear and coordinated advocacy effort.

Ben Myers the Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council is hopeful that these requests for clarification will be met by government, allowing for HomeBuilder to assist in enhancing the retirement living industry in Australia.

“These grants provide an incentive for seniors who have been considering downsizing and moving into a retirement village to make that decision.” Myers said.

“In recent months, since the COVID-19 pandemic started, it has been demonstrated that retirement villages are safe and secure places to live, and sales inquiries have reflected this sentiment.

“The Property Council will continue working with State and Territory Governments to make sure the administrative arrangements for this scheme are practical and relevant to retirement living and land lease communities.”

Details of how to apply, FAQs and criteria are available here via Treasury.