HomeBuilder grant now available in the ACT

17 July 2020

The ACT Government has announced that the HomeBuilder Grant is now available and has provided further advice on eligibility requirements which is outlined for your information below.
 
HomeBuilder Grant
 
The Homebuilder Grant (Grant) is a Commonwealth grants program administered by the ACT Revenue Office (ACTRO).
 
HomeBuilder provides eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
 
Eligibility
 
Requirements to access the Grant have been specified by the Commonwealth – further details are available from the Commonwealth Treasury website here.
 
Owner-occupiers must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Are a natural person (not a company or trust);
  • Are aged 18 years or older;
  • Are an Australian citizen;
  • Meet one of the following two income caps: $125,000 per annum for an individual applicant based on your 2018-19 or 2019-20 ATO Notice of Assessment; or $200,000 per annum for a couple based on the applicants combined 2018-19 or 2019-20 ATO Notice of Assessments;
    • Enter into a building contract between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 to either: 
    • build a new home as a principal place of residence, where the property value does not exceed $750,000; or
    • substantially renovate an existing home as a principal place of residence, where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000, and where the value of the existing property (house and land) does not exceed $1.5 million (pre-renovation);
  • Construction must commence on or after 4 June 2020 and within three months of the contract date.

A property (including an off the plan dwelling) may be eligible for HomeBuilder, provided a contract is signed on or after 4 June 2020 and on or before 31 December 2020, where construction commences on or after 4 June 2020 and no later than three months after the contract is signed. Read more here.
 
Furthermore:

  • Owner-builders are ineligible for the Grant;
  • Investment properties are ineligible for the Grant;
  • In negotiating a building contract, the parties must deal with each other at arm’s length. This means the contract must be made by two parties freely and 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 price;
  • Renovations or building work must be undertaken by a registered or licenced builder; and
  • 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).

What does ‘commence construction’ mean?
 
It means substantial earthworks, excavations, demolition and physical building work.
 
Preparatory works such as site clearing, fencing, markings, delivery of building products will not be considered sufficient to meet the construction requirement.
Examples of evidence which you can provide to demonstrate you have commenced construction:

  • A building work commencement notice;
  • Inspection report from first stage inspection from building certifier;
  • A building contract and evidence of payment of deposit and first instalment (following completion of first milestone of works); and
  • Photographic evidence, showing time and date of the photo, of construction work undertaken, including substantial earthworks (eg, excavation of footings or a basement), demolition of structural elements of a building and physical building work (eg, pouring a slab)

A statutory declaration from your appointed builder that construction has substantially commenced in line with the examples above.
 
Process
 
In the ACT, applying for the Grant is a two-part application to ACTRO:
 
Part A: Registration
 
Applicants can complete the form here to commence the process to access the Grant. Completing the form does not in any way constitute eligibility for the Grant. Part A form must be lodged by 31 December 2020 for an application to be considered.
 
Part B: Detailed Application
 
A comprehensive application form (coming soon) will be available for to complete the second part of an application. This form requires detailed information about applicant, the builder, type of construction, as well as detailed supporting documentation.
 
ACT implementation
 
Further details on the application process, payment arrangements and conditions for the ACT are coming soon.
 
If registering in interest for a HomeBuilder grant under Part A of the application process, updates will be provided.
 
Read more on the website here.

Source: Property Council of Australia - ACT