James Kelly argues for a ‘Last Home Buyers Grant’

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The Lifestyle Communities Founder and CEO has come out in social media with a novel strategy.

He proposes the Government complement the First Home Buyers Grant with the Last Home Buyers Grant. Here is his (edited) argument:

“The Australian Government has long supported the younger generations’ ambitions to own their own home. Now, in the midst of the COVID-19 economic landscape and in a bid to support the construction industry, the Government’s HomeBuilder grant provides eligible owner-occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home (or renovate an existing home).”

“But like all good things, this comes to an end on December 31 and for retirees not yet ready to consider downsizing, it is an opportunity likely to pass them by. However, what remains is a strong case for continuing this grant in the form of a ‘Last Home Buyers Grant’; providing financial support for retired Australians to downsize. If Baby Boomers were incentivised to downsize in the same way that Millennials were incentivised to buy, could this address the undersupply of affordable housing in Australia?”

“With an estimated three million empty bedrooms in Australia every night, the case for the Last Home Buyers Grant is compelling. A lack of incentive for older Australians to contemplate downsizing impedes any motivation to consider changing their living arrangements. The costs associated with selling, buying and moving remain a hurdle to many, resulting in the continued short supply of family housing.”

“With the perceived moving costs as a motivating factor to stay in larger homes, a grant to negate this stumbling block is a clever first-step into easing our housing affordability crisis.”

“Now is the time for the Australian Government to pivot their fair go home owning initiatives to include senior Australians on an ongoing basis. With most Baby Boomers never having had the opportunity to access a First Home Buyers Grant and paying taxes their whole working lives, facilitating their transition to homes suitable to their needs seems worthy of the Government’s attention.”