HomeBuilder is a good idea gone bad. It is possibly the most complex and least equitable program the government could have devised to deliver construction jobs.
It gives $25,000 to people who already own a home or already have enough money to buy one while delivering a minimal stimulus to extra construction. It isn’t a program to create jobs, it is a way of making people who are reasonably well off richer.
It does not address homelessness, precarious rental or any of the other pressing problems that are caused by our current housing mix.
The big, central problem with the scheme: the opportunity to deliver a substantial program of social housing that would address real problems, including homelessness, has been missed. And the government has done it in a way that will minimise the jobs created and maximise the wealth transfer to Australians who are relatively well off.
For a government that has mostly managed to do the right thing ever since COVID-19 hit, this has been a terrible policy clanger. It will encourage everyone who cannot afford to buy a home, or who is homeless, to believe the government has forgotten them.