LABOR CALLS FOR CAP TO BE LIFTED ON FIRST HOME LOAN DEPOSIT SCHEME

ANTHONY ALBANESE MP .
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1 month ago
LABOR CALLS FOR CAP TO BE LIFTED ON FIRST HOME LOAN DEPOSIT SCHEME
ANTHONY ALBANESE MP 
Labor today called on the Federal Government to lift the cap on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme for first home buyers who build new homes.
 
This will help save the jobs of tradies and help more Australians purchase their first home.
 
Work in the housing construction industry is about to fall off a cliff and estimates by the Master Builders Association indicate 450,000 tradies jobs could be at risk if the government doesn’t act.
 
Labor has been calling on the government for 5 weeks for a National Housing Stimulus program to save thousands of jobs.
 
History shows that stimulating housing has been central to the national recovery from economic shock.
 
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme currently assists 10,000 first home buyers each financial year to purchase a home with a deposit of as little as five per cent without the need to purchase mortgage insurance.
 
According to the Minister for Housing, in the first six months of operation the scheme is likely to be fully subscribed and most of the assistance will be provided to first home buyers to purchase existing homes.
 
We need to provide more support for the construction of new housing to help keep tradies working and off the dole queue.
 
Labor is therefore calling for the cap to be lifted on the Scheme  for first home buyers who build new homes (subject to the existing income and price caps).
 
The existing cap of 10,000 would remain in place for first homeowners purchasing existing homes.
 
This will encourage the construction of more new homes, keep more tradies in work, and increase the nations’ housing stock.
 
The Master Builders Association, Housing Industry Association and the Urban Development Institute of Australia have all warned the Federal Government that the housing construction industry is about to go off a cliff and have called for an expansion of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme.
 
Almost one million people work in the housing construction industry.
 
Before COVID-19 hit between 171,000 to 160,000 homes were expected to be built this year.  Now it is predicted to be as low as 100,000.
 
To help fill this gap Labor has already called on the Government to:
 
  1. work with state governments, the private sector and superannuation funds to invest in more social and affordable housing and the repair and maintenance existing social housing; and
 
  1. build more affordable rental housing for the true heroes of the COVID-19 crisis - nurses, cleaners, aged care workers, supermarket workers, bus drivers, and other front-line workers – closer to where they work. 
 
Lifting the cap of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme for first home buyers who build new homes is another important measure which should form part of a National Housing Stimulus Plan.
 
The government needs to stop delaying and help save the jobs of thousands of Aussie tradies.