A new $285 million Temporary Housing Support Package will provide accommodation support to flood victims who have lost their homes to ensure people can access more immediate and medium term accommodation support.
The housing support package will have the capacity to assist around 25,000 households and be focused on allowing people to move out of their emergency accommodation and find a more permanent place to call home. They will also have access to up to 16 weeks rental support by the end of March.
The package will also fund on-site pods in rural areas to allow people to stay on their properties while they rebuild, and motorhomes and cabin accommodation to ensure there is flexible accommodation to meet peoples’ varying needs.
The housing package is part of the latest assistance package from the NSW Nationals in the state and federal governments, which is providing more than $551.7 million for flood-affected communities, including support to small businesses, primary producers, councils, individuals, and families.
Since February 22, 45 Local Government Areas (LGAs) have been declared as disaster areas and are eligible for support through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the accommodation support was crucial to helping flood victims begin the long road to recovery.
“This is an incredibly distressing time for many and providing additional accommodation options for those who have lost everything will help to ease some of the burden,” Mr Toole said.
“We are also providing the ability for people to stay on their properties, if possible, so they are in more familiar surroundings while they take time to consider their options.”
Nationals Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the NSW Government will continue to provide support to individuals, families, farmers and business owners.
“As flood waters recede, we are setting up Recovery Centres as one-stop shops for people to access clean-up services, financial assistance, insurance and legal support, business support and mental health services,” Ms Cooke said.
“The destruction caused by the floodwaters will take weeks and months to clean up, and we will continue to stand side-by-side with our flood-affected communities in the Northern Rivers region.”
The $551.7 million package includes:
- $285 million Temporary Housing Support package that includes;
- $248 million rental support scheme, providing 16 weeks rental support, which will be accessible by the end of March;
- $20 million to extend the temporary housing program to allow people to stay on their land in a temporary ‘pod’ dwelling while rebuilding;
- $10 million to supply temporary accommodation through mobile motor homes, with the first 20 to be delivered by March 13;
- $4.5 million to support the Housing Flood Recovery Service to manage long term housing needs and recovery;
- $2.5 million to provide temporary housing through the hiring of recreation camps in the Northern Rivers. Locations include Camp Koinonia, Lake Ainsworth Sport & Recreation Centre and Camp Drew with capacity for up to 270 people and on-site facilities for cooking and hygiene, and;
- $150,000 for a housing brokerage service enabling the Australian Red Cross to work with private rental companies, such as Airbnb and Stayz, to help connect people with rental homes.
- $90 million to assist with the clean-up and removal of flood and storm related damage, debris and green waste for the additional 28 disaster declared LGAs enabling them to work with Resilience NSW and NSW Government agencies to coordinate clean-up activities in their communities;
- $75,000 primary producer grants extended to all disaster declared LGAs;
- $50,000 small business and not-for-profit grants extended to all disaster declared LGAs;
- $1 million grants to additional 28 impacted councils to assist with their immediate social, built, economic and environmental needs.
A full list of currently open Recovery Centres is available at: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/floods/recovery-centres-and-hubs.
Please contact Service NSW on 13 77 88, visit nsw.gov.au/floods or speak to evacuation centre staff.