Federal Parliament - HomeBuilder

June 11, 2020

Dr ALY: I'm trying to fathom the logic of the government's recently announced renovation grants. In principle, it sounds really great—$25,000 to carry out renovations on a home. But I'm just trying to picture a scenario in which this scheme was thought up. There is $25,000 to spend on a bathroom or kitchen renovation for those who earn less than $125,000 but have $150,000 lying around to overcapitalise on their homes that are less than $750,000 in value. What are they going to do—build a gold-plated loo? I just don't understand in what universe this makes sense. But it is a serious issue. The seriousness is expressed in the despair and disappointment of the people of Cowan who contacted me when they heard about this renovation grant. At first they were very excited to finally have enough funds to be able to carry out much-needed renovations and repairs on their homes. Maria, who's a 48-year-old single mum, rang my office in tears. Her house desperately needs its leaking roof fixed and is in desperate need of renovation, but she can't afford $150,000 to be eligible for the $25,000 grant. Or there is Max, who's 86 years old and in a wheelchair—his home desperately needs renovations.