South Australian home aspirations left in $25,000 limbo as deadline looms

South Australian home aspirations left in $25,000 limbo as deadline looms

Posted on: 13 April 2023

South Australians are still at risk of missing out on approved grants of up to $25,000 because the Malinauskas Labor Government is failing to act, despite the Federal Government announcing an extension to the upcoming deadline.

It would be an added blow for families after new figures reveal South Australian households face the harsh prospect of finding more than an extra $16,000 a year to cover the skyrocketing prices of housing, food, electricity and other essentials.

The Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas to provide clarity for nervous homebuyers and renovators after the Commonwealth announced more than two weeks ago it will work with the states to extend the HomeBuilder grant deadline.

Under the scheme, grants of up to $25,000 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 this year.

More than a thousand South Australians are unable to meet this deadline due to lengthy construction and supply delays outside their control – putting their dreams of homeownership under threat.

Following relentless pressure from the Opposition, the Federal Labor Government announced it will extend the paperwork deadline by two years until 30 June 2025 - subject to the agreement of states and territories. But with just 17 days until the existing deadline, Peter Malinauskas hasn’t provided any reassurances to South Australians relying on these grants that they will receive the support.

In fact, RevenueSA’s website states “Applicants are strongly encouraged to continue working to the existing 30 April 2023 deadline until further notice.”

Shadow Minister for Housing Affordability and Urban Development, Michelle Lensink, said it’s an incredibly stressful time for many HomeBuilder applicants who still fear they will miss out through no fault of their own.

“We welcome the Federal Government’s announcement that they are planning to extend the HomeBuilder deadline, but now it’s time for the Malinauskas Labor Government to step up,” Ms Lensink said.

“Time is ticking with the existing deadline just couple of weeks away, yet Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan are dragging the chain when it comes to assurances to South Australians counting on these grants.

“In fact, worried applicants are telling us they are ringing RevenueSA for answers and are essentially getting fobbed off.

“Cost of living and housing pressures are continuing to skyrocket with the average South Australian family more than $16,000 worse off than they were the same time last year and losing these grants would put even more financial pressure on many of these applicants.

“Labor needs to end the stress and assure South Australians that these grants are on the way.”

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said Stephen Mullighan’s lack of support for HomeBuilder applicants so far has been appalling.

“The dream of homeownership is now a step closer to reality for more than a thousand South Australians, no thanks to Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan. But now’s the time for them to show some initiative,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“We know so many families, first homebuyers and downsizers are relying on this grant – so the very least they can do is give them some clarity and let them know if they’re willing to take part in a new national agreement.

“The Federal Government announced plans to extend the HomeBuilder paperwork deadline more than two weeks ago, but it appears their SA Labor counterparts have just been twiddling their thumbs.

“Every day that goes by without some kind of action from the Malinauskas Labor Government is another day of uncertainty and anxiety for South Australian homebuyers and renovators.”

The proposed extension will only apply to existing, already approved HomeBuilder applicants who had received formal approval under the scheme for off-the-plan purchases or renovations.

State and territories administer the HomeBuilder scheme on behalf of the Commonwealth.