The recent announcement of the Federal Budget included some amendments to the Home Guarantee Scheme, and other policies were announced affecting home buyers and owners, however, the net still needs to be cast wider.

That’s according to Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter who had called for the same in previous years, and now renewed his call for the first home buyer grant to apply to existing homes, including those that were not new or newly-renovated, outside of metropolitan areas.

“The Government is constantly forking out money to build new houses to combat the current housing crisis,” Mr Katter said.

“For a fraction of the cost of constructing a new home, money could be put towards potential home owners, giving them the ability to renovate a home and make it suitable to live in.

“A strategy such as this takes heat off the housing issues and delivers an opportunity to potential homeowners, not only in the city areas, but now for the first time expanding into rural and remote areas.”

On the other hand, Mr Katter pointed out the population decline in some rural towns, including Hughenden.

“In the 1970s, the population was nearing 2,000 people. These days, it sits at around 1,000 people.

“This isn’t because there is nowhere to live; there are many vacant houses within these towns, but most not up to today’s standards and to put it simply, no one wants to live in old, run-down homes anymore.

“Offering up a first home owner grant to someone looking to buy an older home will equip them with funds to complete the much-needed renovations that otherwise would not be done.

“Renovations that make these houses far more appealing and liveable.”

Mr Katter outlined that the cost of construction in rural areas surpassed that of the cities, making anyone wanting to purchase a home and renovate in those areas think twice before doing so.

“Our rural towns have a lot to offer, but often luxurious, newly built, or renovated homes are not one of those things,” he said.

“Offering the first home owner grant to include older homes with the potential for renovation will allow many people looking to buy to see these homes in a new light.

“We need to be doing everything we can to attract people to these small towns that are crying out for educators, healthcare workers, tradesmen, and the like.

“Giving people the ability to buy a home they know they can turn into a long-term investment is a good start.”

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