The Cook Labor Government’s latest reaction to the State’s unprecedented housing crisis is yet again too little too late, according to Shadow Minister for Housing Steve Martin.
Mr Martin said while today’s announcement, that some building companies would be able to access interest-free loans to complete houses that had been under construction for more than two years, may help a select few home builders and their clients, it would leave hundreds of others out in the cold.
“This will do nothing for the hundreds of people who have half-built homes because their builder has already gone broke,” he said.
“As usual with this Government, the devil is in the detail, which this announcement does not provide.
“Apart from some very broad-brush eligibility requirements around solvency and building commencement date, there appears to be no requirements for accountability.
“What measures are in place to ensure the cash is used to complete houses and doesn’t go to paying a builder’s existing debts, who decides how much will be allocated to each incomplete house, what constitutes solvency for a builder, is the 2020 commencement date start of construction or contract signed, these are just a few of the details the Government has either chosen not to tell us, or hasn’t thought about.
“I would think for many small builders, who are literally teetering on the edge of financial viability, even proving solvency will be a hurdle too high.”
Mr Martin said he feared this latest announcement would go down as yet another of the many ill-conceived and failed Cook Government policies to help homebuyers.
“I think it will be consigned to the dustbin along with the $11 million Construction Visa Subsidy Program, the scheme to pay Airbnb owners to rent their properties out long term and perhaps the grandaddy of failures, the Urban Connect Loan Scheme.
“We have been told the crack team of bureaucrats, the Housing Supply Unit, which a Government announcement last year said would provide solutions to the housing crisis, has yet to meet, so I don’t think we can blame them for this policy.”