Homebuyers heartbroken as HomeBuilder grants hang in the balance

Homebuyers heartbroken as HomeBuilder grants hang in the balance

Posted on: 17 February 2023

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to stand up for South Australians and work with the Federal Government to secure an extension to the HomeBuilder scheme – with more than a thousand homebuyers set to miss out on grants of up to $25,000 through no fault of their own.

The grants were made available to those building a new home, substantially renovating an existing home or buying a property off the plan – with all documentation to be supplied by April 30 – including a certificate of title.

For new and off the plan homes, a certificate of title can only be issued once construction has been finished. It means those who purchased properties in developments experiencing lengthy delays due to supply and labour shortages could lose their grant – even though they met the eligibility requirements when they signed their contract.

Leader of the Opposition David Speirs said those affected just want to be treated fairly.

“The Opposition has been inundated with heartbroken first homebuyers, devastated they’re going to lose this grant because of building delays that are completely out of their control,” Mr Speirs said.

“For many South Australians, these grants were what made the dream of home ownership possible, and they never imagined it could be ripped away from them like this.

“A large number of those affected signed contracts back in 2020 and shouldn’t be punished for factors outside their control.

“Peter Malinauskas needs to pick up the phone with his Labor colleagues in Canberra and urge them to do the right thing and honour these grants for those who applied in good faith.”

Shadow Minister for Housing Affordability and Urban Development, Michelle Lensink, said Peter Malinauskas shouldn’t be denying South Australians the opportunity to own their first home.

“With cost of living pressures and interest rates rising, this grant is make or break for many South Australians looking to own their own home,” Ms Lensink said.

“We’re in the middle of a housing crisis, so we should be making it easier for South Australians to own their own home – not turning our backs on them.

“Peter Malinauskas is talking big on housing at the moment, but many of his Government’s initiatives are years away from becoming a reality and making a true impact on housing stress.

“These HomeBuilder grants will make a real difference for South Australians who are just months away from collecting the keys to their new home – Labor shouldn’t be denying them this opportunity.”

Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said it’s appalling Stephen Mullighan hasn’t reached out to the Federal Treasurer to try and resolve this issue for South Australian applicants.

“Stephen Mullighan is acting like these South Australian homebuyers are after preferential treatment, but all they’re after is a fair go,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“This is not a matter of applicants not having their paperwork in order – far from it. These are people who have been patiently waiting for their properties to be completed and factors outside their control could see them missing out on up to $25,000 towards their new home.

“The cut-off date for this scheme has been changed before – so State and Federal Labor need to stop playing the blame game.

“We know these grants have been budgeted for, so the money should be there for applicants, ready to go. Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan need to ask their Federal colleagues for some leeway here – because right now they’re denying hundreds of South Australians the opportunity to own the roof over their head.”

Funding for the HomeBuilder Grant is provided by the Federal Government with an arrangement for the South Australian Government to administer applications and payments.