Australia’s government unveiled a stimulus package to support housing market activity and to generate more jobs in the construction sector as the economy is set to enter its first recession in 29 years.
The new HomeBuilder program will provide all eligible owner-occupiers, not just first home buyers, with a grant of A$25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Thursday.
The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around A$680 million.
This increase in residential construction will help to fill the gap in construction activity expected in the second half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Morrison said.
The new program will help to support the 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector.
The announcement came a day after official data showed that the economy contracted 0.3 percent in the first quarter. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Wednesday said the economy is on track for two consecutive quarters of negative growth.