Residential construction company Archiblox has gone under, leaving some residents in financial ruin without a property to show for it.
It was supposed to be a sea-change for Melbourne woman Beverley Johnson - a stylish home with bay-views in McCrae on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula.
Residential construction company Archiblox had promised to deliver the modular build in four months.
But it's been four years and Archiblox has gone bust, leaving Ms Johnson out of pocket and without her dream home.
"Our lives have just been in complete limbo," she told 9News.
"We've paid $800,000 for not a lot."
The build has a string of defects and the vacant lot in McCrae remains overgrown and fenced off.
Insurance will barely scratch the surface and Ms Johnson, who has been renting, is now considering dipping into her superannuation to finish the build.
"When these things happen you're just completely left on your own," she said.
Families who'd bought into a Williamstown townhouse development by Bayland Property Group have similar horror stories.
Jane Wall was hoping to spend her twilight years in the home.
"I was supposed to be retired but I've got to kiss that goodbye because I need to pay rent somehow," Ms Wall told 9News.
Bayland has since closed its doors and many families at the development have faced years of delays and financial strain.
Young parents Jamie and Carolina Bowes say they made a "fatal mistake" when they were "pressured" into purchasing a lot from Bayland in 2018
"It was pretty much 'you need to sign the contract now'," Mr Bowes told 9News.
"Our rental costs, including what we pay here on the interest, we're paying around $6000 a month, which over 18 months will be over $100,000."
Builders are now back at the site and progress is finally being made.
According to ASIC data, more than 500 construction businesses folded last year, including Bilic Homes, Busby Homes and big-time developers Steller and Verve Construction.
Today, Housing Minister Richard Wynne admitted to 9News the government needs to "do better" to protect the rights of home-buyers who've been left in the lurch
"We are looking more broadly at the question of consumer cover and I think we can do better in this space, there's no doubt about that," he said.
Do you know more? Contact reporter Reid Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bayland Property Group failed to respond to request for comment for this story.
Archiblox told 9News in a statement: "After exhausting all other avenues and doing all we could to support our clients, due to situations outside of our control the incredibly difficult decision had to be made to place the company into voluntary liquidation.
"With the current economic situation, we are sadly not alone and we wish the best to everyone who has been impacted during these extraordinary times."
Clarification: In our news report on May 25, 2020, we stated that "developer Bayland went under". We have been informed by its owner that this was not the case and the business just ceased property development and closed.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/melbourne-news-archiblox-collapse-residents-left-out-of-pocket-thousands/a70dc623-77fd-4fcc-a82d-d33a05d82a8c