The Liberal government’s expanded First Home Builders Grant scheme is setting some Tasmanians up for a fall, with unrealistic timeframes and a lack of guidelines to inform it.
Shadow Minister for Building and Construction Jen Butler said the government promised to release guidelines by 9 June and must immediately release them so the industry and the public know what they are dealing with.
“The expansion of the first home builders grant to allow any owner occupier to build a house should be a positive move to help get Tasmanians into their own home, tackle our housing crisis and help the COVID-19 recovery,” Ms Butler said.
“But the failure to release guidelines to inform it sends a message that the government is not taking the industry seriously.
“Given the heavy toll the pandemic has taken on Tasmania’s building and construction industry, this is not good enough and I urge the government to release the grant guidelines immediately to provide some certainty for the industry and Tasmanians wanting to build their own home.
“Labor also has concerns about the timeframe that requires building commencement within three months of the signing of a building contract.
“It is unrealistic to expect all new home builders to start a build within three months. Finance, planning timeframes, land supply and title issues are all likely to cause delays, and the three-month cut off will leave some new home builders ineligible.
“At the very least, the three-month commencement period must be extended.
“As we ease our way out of the COVID-19 crisis, we want to see a scheme that Tasmanians can readily access and that will provide the support the industry needs to build back some of the jobs lost to the pandemic and bolster the state’s economy.”
Jen Butler MP
Shadow Minister for Building and Construction