Around 2,000 homeowners in flood-prone areas of the Northern Rivers of NSW will now be eligible to raise, repair, retrofit, or have their home voluntarily bought back, as part of a new $800 million program.
The Commonwealth and NSW Government joint funding will support residential homeowners impacted in the February-March 2022 floods in the seven Local Government Areas of Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.
The voluntary buyback scheme will be offered to Northern Rivers residents located in the most vulnerable areas where major flooding would pose a catastrophic risk to life.
The Northern Rivers Resilient Homes Fund package will also provide financial assistance of up to $100,000 for house raising or up to $50,000 for retrofitting for homeowners in areas where flood risk can be reduced by better building standards.
The NSW Government will provide $100 million to acquire land and open up new flood safe locations for future development, in partnership with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation. The Corporation is currently conducting an expression of interest process to identify suitable parcels of land.
Eligible homeowners will be offered one of the three available measures, based on expert property assessments; flood impact severity data, safety risks, and potential future flood levels.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, said offers to individual homeowners will be based on extensive analysis of the 2022 floods and expert advice on any subsequent disasters.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to building back and this program offers multiple measures to help residents stay in the region in homes that can better withstand future floods,” Mr Toole said.
NSW Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, said the Resilient Homes Program complements the Resilient Land Program, which is identifying Northern Rivers’ locations that could be considered for future developments.
“We want to ensure residents who do choose to move are able to relocate into areas where there is community infrastructure and amenities so that they can start their lives anew, not from scratch,” Ms Cooke said.
Federal Nationals MP for Page, Kevin Hogan, has welcomed the announcement.
“We need to get on with our lives and live confidently; this is a big step towards our recovery. I have been lobbying the Labor Government to support this package, which is welcome news for our community,” Mr Hogan said.
The Flood Property Assessment Program provides a first point of entry, with registered homeowners automatically considered for the Resilient Homes Program.
Other homeowners can register their interest in the Resilient Homes Program by filling in the online registration form at:
The NSW Government will contact eligible homeowners from mid-November onwards.
For detailed information about the program, including guidelines, eligibility and co-contributions, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/NRRC