With thousands of homeowners left in the lurch as the construction companies feel the pinch, some have been buoyed by the efforts of builders who have stepped in to finally make their dream of home ownership a reality.

Zeb Woodhatch is the director of Mazzei building group and its insolvency arm Cecure, which has tapped into the surging insurance market as builders were caught between fixed contracts and skyrocketing supply costs.

“We have heard some harrowing stories from people who can barely afford the rent they are paying because they were meant to move into their new home months ago,” Mr Woodhatch said.

“At the end of the day we just want to see clients move into their homes so we are just working through ways to do that.”

The director said the company expanded into the space about a year ago as the financial woes started to play out across the sector.

“We started finishing off homes from Snowden when they went under and that really allowed us to cut our teeth in the market,” he said.

“More recently it’s been everything from Snowden to Hallbury, to Porter Davis and a couple of other smaller ones in between.”

The builder is currently working to complete more than 100 incomplete construction jobs around Victoria.

Latest ASIC figures reveal 621 construction company insolvencies for the 2022-23 financial year – the highest 12-month total since 2014.

Nationally, 284 construction businesses entered insolvency in July 2023. Construction accounted for more than one-third (34.6 per cent) of all insolvencies across the nation for the same period. This share has never been higher.

Master Builders Victoria chief executive officer Michaela Lihou says while the landscape was challenging, builders were showcasing their resilience.

“It’s been a difficult few years for the industry but what we are not hearing enough of are the good news stories across the sector,” Ms Lihou says.

“Every week there is another example of a building company stepping in to make a difference in the lives of customers who were left in limbo.

“That can be a huge weight lifted for any customer who has been caught out in the jam face by companies forced to manage.”

Importantly, insolvencies had only affected about one per cent of the industry, Ms Lihou said.

But she conceded it was tough for any consumer caught in the middle.

Josh and Anne-Marie Hall are among the residential clients who were left to pick up the pieces.

The couple were caught in the cross hairs when Privium Impact Homes was placed into liquidation in December 2021.

Its collapse left hundreds of homes unfinished and customers like Josh and Anne-Marie unsure where to turn.

“We were almost at lock up stage and then we found out they had gone under,” Anne-Marie said.

“Our site manager’s phone just kept going to voicemail and we couldn’t get anybody at the company. We ended up Googling it to work out what had happened.”

“We were in complete shock.”

The couple said in the end they actually struggled to find a builder willing to take on the job.

“A lot of the bigger companies we had heard of wouldn’t take on the job because they weren’t necessarily used to taking on their incomplete work. So we had to start looking at smaller builders but we didn’t know if we could trust them.”

The pair said they had been forced to pay two mortgages simultaneously until the property was finally settled last month.

Mr Woodhatch said every unfinished project offered a different story to tell.

“You have got to be at the top of your game to be able to work through it because they are all different,” he said.

“It has shown just how resilient the industry is as trades and suppliers have really got behind us.

“They want to see these homes completed as much as any one. We are not even getting push back from those tradies who have worked on these jobs and haven’t been paid. They are just as keen to see them finished.

“It’s highlights that as a industry we can face these headwinds but collectively everybody bands together for a better outcome.”