The NSW Nationals in the state government have announced a $350 million investment in temporary modular housing to give people displaced by floods a place to call home while they rebuild their lives.
Discussions are underway with local councils across Tweed, Byron, Ballina, Richmond Valley and Lismore Local Government Areas to identify suitable sites for the homes, with preparatory works due to start on the first location in the next week.
The delivery of up to 2,000 temporary modular homes to approved sites across the hardest hit regions comes in addition to the NSW Government’s funding to assist around 25,000 households through rental support, Disaster relief programs, and the Back Home program.
The first confirmed location will be in Wollongbar, in partnership with Ballina Shire Council, with more sites expected to follow in coming days and weeks. It will be in the grounds of the Wollongbar Sports Fields, and will initially include around 25 temporary accommodation pods with capacity to house up to 100 people. The pods come in various configurations which can accommodate one to four people and will be co-located with supporting infrastructure and amenities.
Site readiness and installation works are expected to take approximately four weeks, with community housing providers providing long term site management.
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the government was focused on ensuring affected communities had access to a range of support options to meet their needs throughout the recovery.
“Across government and the emergency services, we are on the ground in flood-affected communities listening to locals and working to ensure they get what they need to bounce back as quickly as possible,” Ms Cooke said.
“In addition to these modular homes, there are a range of other temporary housing options in place including motorhomes, accommodation in recreation camps, and 16-weeks rental support.
“We will continue to put every possible resource into identifying more opportunities to provide communities with a safe place to live while they rebuild.”
Regulatory changes had been made to allow temporary accommodation, both private and government, to be set up more quickly without development consent.
This was a successful measure after the Black Summer bushfires and the government has now extended it ensure flood-affected communities have access to the same provisions to help them in their recovery.
Flood affected community members seeking housing support are urged to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88, visit nsw.gov.au/floods or speak to recovery centre staff.