HIA wants 'failed' grant extended
A $10,000 State Government building grant offered to boost housing and jobs in Queensland has been declared a failure on the Sunshine Coast.
The Queensland Building Boost was offered to anyone building a new home, townhouse or unit for less than $600,000 between August 1 last year and January 31.
But figures released yesterday showed that just 208 new home owners had applied for the money, highlighting the 25% decline in houses built in the region in 2011 compared to 2010.
Housing Industry Association Sunshine Coast branch manager Stuart Collins said he would plead with the government to extend the grant and double the fund to $20,000, to ensure more residents could take advantage of the scheme.
"Housing throughout the Sunshine Coast is still not showing the turnaround we would be expecting and this is basically because people can't afford to be building here," Mr Collins said.
"We had the least affordable land prices in the nation last quarter and with stamp duty, GST and land tax on top of that it is easy to see why people are not investing in their homes.
"The government must double the grant to $20,000 and at least extend the deadline a further three months to bring people inline with the market, otherwise the government has simply failed in what they set out to achieve."
But Deputy Premier Andrew Fraser said the scheduled deadline would not be changed.
The scheme was tipped to attract 14,000 new home owners.
WHAT IT MEANS
The State Government will pay a $10,000 grant to anyone building a new home, townhouse or unit in Queensland for less than $600,000.
The grant ends January 31.
It is open to owner occupiers, investors and companies and applies to both new homes yet to be built and existing new homes that have not previously been occupied.