Recently, the Morrison Government announced their ‘HomeBuilder’ stimulus package. For a limited time it will provide eligible owner-occupiers with a $25,000 grant to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home.
Labor has been calling for a National Housing Stimulus Plan. Sadly, it is not the substantial stimulus package that I was hoping for, and that industry representatives like the Master Builders Association and the Property Council of Australia had called for. The strictly limited criteria of the HomeBuilder grant scheme will mean that very few Australians will be eligible.
What is particularly disappointing is that not a single dollar of this stimulus package will go to constructing more social housing or repairing existing social housing. Since 2011, the number of people who are homeless has increased by 14 per cent in Queensland; and even more concerning, there has been a 28 per cent increase in homelessness of people aged over 55 years.
This package will not build a single home for the people who need them most, including mums and kids fleeing domestic violence, veterans sleeping in parks and essential workers.
This is a missed opportunity to provide housing for the vulnerable and, at the same time, protect tradies’ jobs and support hundreds of small and family-run businesses.