Housing industry bodies have welcomed the federal government's HomeBuilder scheme, saying they are not concerned about the possible impact that eligibility restrictions and the state of job security across the broader community could have on the public's appetite for building and renovating.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the COVID-19 stimulus initiative on Thursday.
As part of the program, $25,000 grants will be available for people to renovate or build a home that is their primary place of residence.
The $688 million scheme will be means-tested and require a new home to be valued under $750,000 - including land - and renovations to cost between $150,000 and $750,000.
With grant applications opening this week and running until December 31, construction must start within three months of the contract date.
Housing Industry Association Hunter executive director Craig Jennion said he was not concerned about the impacts the state of employment could have on uptake of the scheme, saying sectors that were among the region's largest employers - health, mining and military - had not been as affected by the global pandemic as industries like arts, entertainment and hospitality.
Mr Jennion said his it was important that the financial sector and local governments could keep pace with the required approval rates to keep the scheme ticking over.
"This package is an important first step in addressing the projected decline in housing activity over the next 12 months and will generate over $15 billion in economic activity nationally," he said.
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"Looking at what this means for the Hunter and Central Coast, using our proportion of new homes against the size of the pot and an average 180,000 dwellings nationally, we could see an additional 800-plus new homes in the Hunter and 250-plus on the Central Coast commence this side of Christmas as a result of this stimulus."
Property Council of Australia Hunter regional director Anita Hugo said the scheme was the "right incentive at the right time".
"While it's fair to say the current climate is challenging for many people, this is good incentive for those people who were potentially already thinking about renovating or building, to make the decision to go ahead," she said.
"It will help to stimulate activity, provide ongoing work to those industries and deliver better economic outcomes for those communities. While not everyone will meet the eligibility requirements they are generally aligned with existing schemes such as the first home buyer loan deposit scheme and state first home owner grant schemes which will operate alongside this scheme.
Ms Hugo said housing construction would play a major role in the Hunter's economy - creating jobs and supporting local businesses.
"It will be important to maximise the benefits of this scheme locally and we look forward to working with the government on its implementation," she said.