What is Homebuilder?
Homebuilder is a time-limited, tax-free grant program to help the residential construction market to get through the Coronavirus pandemic.
HomeBuilder will provide eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
Where can I/will I find the application forms?
Information on how to apply will be made available when the National Partnership Agreement is finalised. It is expected that, where possible, States and Territories will align the HomeBuilder application processes with existing processes for first home owner grants (or similar). Applicants will be able to apply in relation to eligible contracts that are entered into from 4 June 2020 up to 31 December 2020.
When will the grant be paid?
HomeBuilder is being implemented in partnership with States and Territories. For new builds, grants will be paid in line with the timing of payments for first home owner grants or at the discretion of your State and Territory if there is no first home owner grant schemes in place. For substantial renovations, grants will be paid once at least $150,000 of the contract price has been paid in respect of the renovation.
When will I receive HomeBuilder?
HomeBuilder grants will be paid by the relevant State or Territory authority provided the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
Who can apply for HomeBuilder?
To access HomeBuilder, owner/occupier applicants must:
• be a natural person (not a company or trust);
• be aged 18 years or older on the contract date;
• be an Australian citizen;
• be below one of the following two income caps:
$125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on their 2018-19 taxable income or later; or
$200,000 per annum for a couple based on their combined 2018-19 taxable income or later.
• enter into a contract from 4 June 2020 up to 31 December 2020 to either:
build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value (i.e. house and land) does not exceed $750,000; or
substantially renovate an existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is greater than $150,000 and does not exceed $750,000, and where the value of the existing property (i.e. house and land, before renovation) does not exceed $1.5 million.
Is there a limit to how many people can access HomeBuilder?
No. HomeBuilder is an uncapped, time-limited grant.
How do I apply?
You will be able to apply for HomeBuilder through your relevant State or Territory revenue office or equivalent authority, once the State or Territory Government that you live in (or plan to live in) signs the National Partnership Agreement.
States and Territories will backdate acceptance of HomeBuilder applications to 4 June 2020 once the National Partnership Agreement is signed.
You should contact your relevant State or Territory revenue office for more information about when and how you will be able to apply for HomeBuilder
What documentation will I need to provide?
The State or Territory revenue office will require certain documents to process your application.
More information on the documentation you will need to provide will become available through the relevant State or Territory authority.
What happens if there is a change in circumstance and I’m no longer eligible?
If your circumstances change after you have applied for HomeBuilder but have not yet received the payment, and no longer meet the eligibility criteria, you will need to notify your State or Territory immediately.
Who pays HomeBuilder and who receives it?
It is expected that the relevant State or Territory revenue office will distribute the $25,000 grant directly to the applicant.
How will my income be assessed?
The income caps will be assessed against your taxable income and based on your 2018-19 Australian tax return (or 2019-20). HomeBuilder is subject to the following two income caps:
• $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 taxable income or later; or
• $200,000 per annum for a couple based on both 2018-19 taxable income or later.
How do I prove my taxable income?
Taxable income is shown on your notice of assessment. The notice of assessment is issued by the Australian Taxation Office once your tax return for an income year is processed and this can be used to demonstrate your taxable income.
Note: Taxable income is your gross income less allowable deductions and represents the amount of income you pay tax on. More information on taxable income can be found at https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Lodging-your-tax-return/In-detail/What-is-income-/#Taxableincome
What if I don’t lodge a tax return?
If you didn’t earn any income or you earned below the tax free threshold you may be able to lodge a ‘nil tax return’ or a ‘non lodgement advice’ to the Australian Taxation Office. Evidence of a nil tax return or non-lodgement advice is appropriate evidence of your income in the relevant financial year. Additional information on requirements for lodging a tax return is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.
Will the tax return have to match the name on the building contract and land title?
Yes, the applicant must be the person(s) who is/are listed on the certificate of title of the property, and the notice of assessment.
What is the definition of ‘couple’?
This will be determined by the relevant State or Territory authority. Generally this would include couples in a registered domestic relationship, or those living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis.
What proof do I need to provide to show that I reside or intend to reside at the property?
This will be determined by the relevant State or Territory authority. Implementation of the HomeBuilder program is currently being considered by States and Territories. It is expected that, where possible, States and Territories will align the HomeBuilder application processes with existing processes for First home owner grants (or similar).
My partner and I jointly own our home. I am an Australian citizen but my partner is not. Can I apply even though the home is jointly owned?
The Scheme is only open to Australian citizens. Eligible owner-occupier(s) must be listed on the property’s certificate of title, and they must meet the eligibility criteria of the program. Permanent residents are not eligible for the Scheme.
Am I able to apply for a second HomeBuilder grant for my property as I wish to undertake two substantial renovations on my property?
No. A property is only eligible for one HomeBuilder grant. The eligible applicant can only receive the HomeBuilder grant once.
I already own land but haven’t signed a contract to build a new house – am I still eligible?
Yes, if you meet the following criteria:
• If you own a property (house and land), and knock the house down to rebuild – this will be counted as a substantial renovation, and therefore subject to the renovation price range of $150,000 to $750,000 provided the total value (house and land) of the property does not exceed $1.5 million pre-renovation;
• If you own vacant land before 4 June 2020, and then build, the total value of the land and new build cannot exceed $750,000; or
• If you buy the land after announcement, and then build, the total value of the land and build cannot exceed $750,000.
What is the definition of an owner-builder?
A licensed or registered builder cannot undertake building or substantial renovation work on their own property. An owner-builder is intended to mean a person who is the registered or licensed builder and who takes legal responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land/property. Further detail will be made available through the relevant State or Territory administrative authority.
Can I apply for both the HomeBuilder grant and other housing grants offered by my State?
Your eligibility for other home-related programs will not affect your eligibility for HomeBuilder.
I would like to renovate my investment property – would it be eligible for HomeBuilder?
No. Investment properties are not eligible for HomeBuilder.
Is the HomeBuilder grant tax-free?
Yes. The $25,000 grant will not be taxed in the hands of the owner occupier(s) receiving the grant.
What if I renovate my house and then want to sell? Is there a limit on how long I need to live there?
It is expected that you will continue to live at the property (as your principal place of residence) for at least 6 months. However, this will be confirmed by the relevant state or territory authority, noting that implementation of the HomeBuilder program is currently being considered by States and Territories.
My mother’s cousin is a Builder. Can they help me build my new house under HomeBuilder?
Details regarding implementation of the HomeBuilder program are currently being considered by States and Territories to ensure it can be implemented effectively. It is expected that, in negotiating the contract, the parties must deal with each other at arm’s length. This means the contract must be made by two parties acting freely and independently of each other, and without offering favour for some special relationship, such as being a relative. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable and the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market price.
What types of dwellings are eligible under HomeBuilder?
All dwelling types (house, apartment, house and land package, off-the-plan, etc) are eligible under HomeBuilder, in accordance with the requirement that the owner-occupier must contract to build a new dwelling or substantially renovate their existing dwelling. The applicant must also meet the eligibility requirements outlined above.
What are the price caps associated with HomeBuilder?
Is a HomeBuilder grant taxed?
No – a HomeBuilder grant will not be taxed in the hands of the owner-occupier. This is consistent with existing state and territory First Home Owner Grant programs.
What type of contracts are eligible under HomeBuilder
HomeBuilder will be available for building contracts signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020, this includes sales contracts for new builds where building commences after 4 June 2020.
What if I want to buy a recently built home that has never been lived in before? (eg spec build)
HomeBuilder is intended to support activity and provide a pipeline of work for the residential construction sector in the second half of 2020. An existing home that has already been completed, or started construction before 4 June, does not qualify for HomeBuilder.
Further, where construction commences on or after 4 June 2020 and no later than three months after the contract is signed and provided the contract is signed between 4 June and 31 December 2020, then the property purchase may be eligible for HomeBuilder.
What if I want to buy an off-the-plan apartment or townhouse?
Off-the-plan apartments or town houses are eligible for HomeBuilder.
If you sign the contract to buy the off-the-plan dwelling on or after 4 June 2020 and on or before 31 December 2020 and construction commences on or after 4 June 2020 and no later than three months after the contract is signed then the property purchase may be eligible for HomeBuilder.
However, if you sign the contract to buy the dwelling after 4 June 2020, and construction on the home commenced before 4 June 2020, then the home does not qualify for HomeBuilder.
I want to build a new home in a land lease community or retirement village. Is my property eligible for HomeBuilder?
Eligible owner-occupier(s) must be 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.
What about pre-fabricated houses? Are they considered construction and eligible for HomeBuilder?
Construction must be undertaken by a registered or licensed building service 'contractor' who is named as a builder on the building licence or permit. Provided the construction is undertaken by a licensed builder and meets all other eligibility requirements, it will be eligible for HomeBuilder.
What happens if approvals to build my dwelling are delayed?
Construction pursuant to the contract must commence within three months of the contract date. States may exercise discretion where commencement is delayed beyond three months from the contract date due to unforeseen factors outside the control of the parties to the contract (e.g. delays in building approvals).
I am not a first home buyer – can I access HomeBuilder?
Yes. Provided you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a HomeBuilder grant. However, HomeBuilder is not available for investment properties or to owner-builders.
What renovations are eligible?
To be eligible for HomeBuilder, renovations must substantially alter the existing dwelling, and:
• the renovation contract must be between $150,000 and $750,000,
• the value of your existing property (house and land) must not exceed $1.5 million pre-renovation.
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.
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).
How will the $1.5 million value be assessed for substantial renovations?
The evidence to demonstrate the value of your property is a matter for determination by each State and Territory. States and Territories may consider evidence such as a recent contract of sale for the property, a rates notice that identifies the Capital Improved Value, or a bank or independent valuation.. Further information will be available through your State or Territory.
Are knock-down rebuilds considered "renovations"?
Knock-down rebuilds are considered substantial renovations for the purposes of HomeBuilder.
Is landscaping considered a substantial renovation?
Substantial renovations are not expected to include renovations that are primarily cosmetic in purpose, such as landscaping. A renovation must substantially alter the existing dwelling (please refer to the FAQ ‘What renovations are eligible?’).
Are granny flats eligible for HomeBuilder?
Standalone granny flats are not eligible for HomeBuilder. For more information, please refer to the FAQ ‘What renovations are eligible?’.
What integrity measures is the Government implementing?
HomeBuilder is subject to strict eligibility criteria, price caps and income caps to manage demand and support residential construction activity.
Owner-builders and those seeking to build a new home or renovate an investment property are ineligible for HomeBuilder.
The renovation works must be to improve the accessibility or safety or liveability of the dwelling. It cannot be for 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).
In addition, any building contract entered into must be at arm’s length. This means the contract must be made by two parties independently of each other and without some special relationship, such as being a relative. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable and the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market pric