1. Application and acceptance of Terms and Conditions
1.1. Service NSW and Resilience NSW are delivering the Back Home Program (the Program) for NSW Flood Disaster Recovery. As part of the Program, uninsured or underinsured owners and tenants of Residential Property that is located in a High Impacted Suburb and that has suffered Direct Damage can apply to receive a one-off payment to help pay costs of restoring the Residential Property to a Habitable Condition or replacing Essential Household Items.
1.2. Payments made under the Program will be made as act of grace payments under section 5.7(1) of the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (“GSF Act”). The conditions in clause 6.1 are conditions that will be imposed by the Minister for Customer Service or his delegate on the making of the payment under section 5.7(2) of the GSF Act. If any of the conditions in clause 6.1 are contravened, the payment may be recovered from the recipient by the Crown in a court of competent jurisdiction as a debt due to the Crown pursuant to section 5.7(3) of the GSF Act.
1.3. By applying to receive a payment under the Program, you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
1.4. More detailed information about the Program is available in the Program Guidelines. The Program Guidelines are published on the Service NSW website.
2. Definitions and interpretation
2.1. In these Terms and Conditions, unless the context otherwise requires:
Applicant means an owner-occupier, investor or tenant that applies to receive payment under the Program.
Direct Damage means a direct and material impact to the eligible applicants Residential Property or Essential Household Items that is caused by the Eligible Disaster. In respect of a Residential Property, Damage means where the relevant property has:
(a) been destroyed or must be demolished;
(b) been declared structurally unsound;
(c) incurred disrepair to the interior;
(d) its interior exposed to the elements;
(e) sewage which has infiltrated the interior.
Eligible Disaster means NSW Severe Weather and Flooding from 22 February 2022 onwards.
Essential Household Items means items which contribute towards the provision of day-to-day shelter, comfort and sustenance and are considered necessary for maintaining a basic standard of living. This does not include items which are used for business or commercial purposes.
Evidence of Monies Paid may include:
(a) a receipt, including the name, address and ABN (if applicable) of the entity that issued the receipt and a description of each item to which the receipt relates, and/or
(b) a copy of the Applicant’s transaction history and/or bank statement.
GSF Act means the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (NSW).
Habitable Condition means, in respect of a Residential Property, fit for human habitation, possessing basic amenities in working order, and not being in substantial disrepair.
High Impacted Suburb means a suburb within 7 highly impacted northern rivers LGAs (Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed) plus the Hawkesbury.
Note: High impacted suburbs are subject to change.
Leasing Dwelling has the meaning given in clause 3.2(e).
Main Premises means a self-contained dwelling including at least one kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living area and that also includes toilet and laundry facilities, being a dwelling:
(a) that comprises one or more major sections,
(b) in the case of units/flats/duplexes on unsubdivided Residential Property, one designated unit/flat/duplex, and
(c) that is not a motor vehicle, trailer or other registrable vehicle within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW),
Owner-Investor means a person who is the registered proprietor of a Residential Property in which they do not reside.
Owner-Occupier means a person who is the registered proprietor of a Residential Property in which they would (but for the Eligible Disaster) normally reside and maintain Essential Household Items.
Primary Documents means the documents specified in clause 5.6 that must be provided with an application for payment under the Program.
Program means the program described in clause 1.1 of these Terms and Conditions.
Program Guidelines refers to the guidelines for making an application under the Program available on the Service NSW website.
Rental Bond Database means NSW Fair Trading’s service for lodging rental bonds. For more information, please visit the NSW Fair Trading website.
Residential Property means any of the following:
(a) a house,
(b) an apartment,
(c) a moveable dwelling such as caravan, motorhome, relocatable home, cabin or shipping container.
Residential Property Address means the unique mailing address for a Residential Property and includes individual lots formally allocated to moveable dwellings at the same Residential Property Address (for example, lots allocated to caravans at a caravan park that are not holiday lettings).
Resilience NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through Resilience NSW.
Separate Dwelling means a dwelling, not being the Main Premises but linked to an Eligible Address such as a granny flat, unit/flat/duplex on an unsubdivided Residential Property, caravan, motorhome, relocatable home, cabin or shipping container where it includes at least;
(a) one kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living area and includes toilet and laundry facilities;
(b) comprises one or more major sections;
(c) and includes any associated structures that form part of the dwelling.
Service NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through Service NSW.
Tenant means a person who has a current lease agreement for a Residential Property in which they would (but for the Eligible Disaster) normally reside and maintain Essential Household Items.
Terms and Conditions means these Terms and Conditions for participation in the Program, as amended from time to time.
We or us means one or more of DCS, Service NSW and/or Resilience NSW (as the case requires).
3. Payments available under the Program
3.1. The following one-off payments may be available under the Program to assist with the cost of Direct Damage to Residential Property and/or Essential Household Items at each Residential Property Address in a High Impacted Suburb:
(a) For an Applicant who is an Owner-Occupier – one-off payment of $20,000;
(b) For an Applicant who is an Owner-Investor – one-off payment of $15,000;
(c) For an Applicant who is a Tenant – one-off payment of $5,000.
3.2. The following examples illustrate how this clause and clause 3.1 apply in respect of different living arrangements:
(a) An Owner-Occupier rents a spare room in their Residential Property to another person. In this case, if the Owner-Occupier applies for a one-off payment of $20,000, the other person is not eligible for a one-off payment of $5,000.
(b) There is a house with a main dwelling on a Residential Property Address, and there is a shipping container in the backyard which a person resides in. The shipping container does not have its own Residential Property Address. In this case, the shipping container will be treated independently from the main dwelling as a separate dwelling, and so a maximum of $5,000 will be paid in respect of the shipping container under the Program.
(c) Four individuals live in a share house. Only one payment of $5,000 will be made under the Program in respect of the house. One payment of $15,000 would also be available to the Owner-Investor(s) in respect of that house.
(d) A caravan park has 20 separate lots on the site. For the purposes of these Terms and Conditions, applications may be made in respect of each of the lots, as they are treated as separate Residential Property Addresses.
(e) Where a Person owns and occupies a dwelling in a Residential Land Lease Community and are considered homeowners under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013 (Leasing Dwelling) they may apply as an Owner-Occupier under this program provided the Leasing Dwelling arrangement was entered into prior to 22 February 2022 and remains current.
Where there are multiple dwellings at the same Residential Property Address, Service NSW may, at its sole discretion, agree to treat each dwelling as its own Residential Property Address for the purposes of the Program.
3.3. Payments made under the Program must be used to contribute to the cost of restoring the Residential Property to a Habitable Condition or replacing Essential Household Items which have suffered Direct Damage. This includes (but is not limited to) the cost of:
(a) for Owner-Occupiers and Owner-Investors, the inspection and safe reconnection of damaged utilities, including necessary replacement or repairs to electrical, gas, water, hot water, and sewerage equipment not otherwise the responsibility of utility companies;
(b) for Owner-Occupiers and Owner-Investors, necessary reconstruction of a damaged Residential Property, including restoration or replacement of damaged roofing, flooring, structural walls, fittings and fixtures
(c) for Owner-Occupiers and Tenants, necessary replacement or repairs to damaged Essential Household Items including whitegoods, kitchen and household appliances, household laundry and cleaning equipment, cooking utensils, essential personal communications devices (non-business related), furniture and bedding
(d) for Tenants only, transportation and/or relocation costs related to moving Essential Household Items to a new residential property.
Annexure A to these Terms and Conditions contains a non-exhaustive list of items that payments made under the Program may be used for.
3.4. Payments made under the Program must not be used to contribute to the cost of:
(a) building any new infrastructure which did not exist prior to the Eligible Disaster;
(b) tailoring temporary accommodation pods / modules (Government Pods), funded by the NSW Government;
(c) replacing or repairing Essential Household Items not stored or located at the Residential Property (for example, items kept in a commercial storage facility or at an alternate property address);
(d) replacing or repairing damaged items that are used for business or commercial purposes; or
(e) booking or renting temporary or short-term accommodation or leasing of a new property.
4.1. An Applicant may be eligible for a payment under the Program if:
(a) they are the owner of, or a tenant that lives in (or, at the time of the Eligible Disaster, lived in) the Residential Property;
(b) the Residential Property is located in a High Impacted Suburb;
(c) the Residential Property or Essential Household Items stored or located at the Residential Property have suffered Direct Damage;
(d) they are unable to claim the cost of restoring the Residential Property to a Habitable Condition or of replacing Essential Household Items under an insurance policy. For the avoidance of doubt, this includes Applicants that:
(i) are uninsured for severe weather and/or flood damage;
(ii) have insurance for severe weather and/or flood damage but that insurance is insufficient to cover the relevant cost; or
(iii) are otherwise unable to claim for severe weather and/or flood damage.
(e) they are ineligible for other, more comprehensive support measures which are available for those on low incomes and with limited realisable assets, for example, the Disaster Relief Grant.
4.2. An Owner-Occupier, Owner-Investor or Tenant is not eligible to apply to receive payment under the Program if they have previously received a payment under this Program or under a previous program and:
(a) Service NSW (or another government agency in relation to this Program or previous program) have sought to recover the whole or part of that previous payment as a debt due to the Crown pursuant to s. 5.7(3) of the GSF Act or otherwise, and
(b) the amount sought has not been repaid.
5. Application process and requirements
5.1. Applications must be submitted via:
(a) the Service NSW website, or
(b) the Service NSW mobile application.
5.2. Applicants must fully complete the online application and submit all requisite documentation as stated on the application before 20 April 2023.
5.3. For each Residential Property Address, we will only accept:
(a) One Owner-Occupier application (for a one-off payment of $20,000). If there are multiple Owner-Occupiers in respect of the Residential Property Address, tenants within the separate dwellings should submit the application on behalf of all tenants in that separate dwelling to receive a one off payment of $5,000; or
(b) One Owner-Investor and/or one Tenant application (for a one-off payment of $15,000 for the Owner-Investor, and a one-off payment of $5,000 for the Tenant). If there are multiple Owner-Investors or multiple Tenants in respect of the Residential Property Address, one Owner-Investor or one Tenant should submit the application on behalf of all Owner-Investors or all Tenants (as applicable).
5.4. Residential Properties with multiple dwellings not assigned individual lots, or with multiple residences must submit separate applications as tenants. Tenants should designate one responsible person per Residential Property to submit the application on behalf of all persons residing at the Residential Property.
5.5. All applications must include:
(a) personal contact details (name, email and phone number)
(b) proof of identity
(c) Australian bank account details for payment
(d) the Applicant’s status in relation to the Residential Property – ie, whether the Applicant is an Owner-Occupier, Owner-Investor or Tenant
(e) if practicable, photographic evidence of the Direct Damage if the property is listed on the SES Damage Assessment Dashboard.
(f) photographic evidence of the Direct Damage is required if the property is not listed on the SES Damage Assessment Dashboard.
5.6. Subject to clause 5.7, applications must provide the following documents (“Primary Documents”) as evidence of occupation:
(a) if the Applicant is an Owner-Occupier:
(i) the Council Rates Notice for 2021-21 or 2021-22, and
(ii) a utility bill for the Residential Property that is no more than 4 months old; or
(b) if the Applicant is an Owner-Investor:
(i) the Council Rates Notice for 2020-21 or 2021-22.
(c) if the Applicant is a Tenant on a single dwelling Residential Property, either:
(i) a copy of the current lease agreement or a screenshot from the Rental Bond Database showing the details of the relevant lease, or
(ii) a utility bill in the Tenant’s name that is no more than 4 months old, for the Residential Property.
d) if the applicant is a Tenant in a multiple dwelling residential address they will need to provide:
(i) a copy of the current lease agreement, commencing prior to 22 February 2022 or a screenshot from the Rental Bond Database showing the details of the relevant lease. If there is no written lease agreement, evidence of rental payments, including bank statements, a rental ledger and/or rental receipts, and
(ii) a utility bill in their name that is no more than 4 months old, for the Residential Property. If this is not available, a government-issued document in their name that displays the address of the Residential Property, and
(iii) photos of the Separate Dwelling in which the Tenant resides, showing its proximity to the Main Premises, and its kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living area, and toilet and laundry facilities.
(e) if the applicant is an Owner-Occupier of a Leasing Dwelling:
(i) a copy of the relevant site agreement showing the applicant’s name. If there is no site agreement, evidence of payment of the relevant site fees; and
(ii) evidence of ownership of the Leasing Dwelling, such as, the Contract for Sale to purchase the Leasing Dwelling; and
(iii) a government-issued document in their name that displays the address of the Leasing Dwelling.
5.7. An Applicant that is a Tenant and cannot produce one of the Documents required under clause 5.6(c) may substitute one of those Documents for a government-issued document in their name that displays the address of the Residential Property, such as:
(a) a vehicle registration notice, or
(b) a letter from Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, Service NSW or Transport for NSW.
5.8. Notwithstanding any other provision in these Terms and Conditions, Service NSW or DCS may require additional information or clarification from an Applicant or from any other public entity or person, before determining whether the eligibility criteria in clause 4.1 have been met and whether the application should be approved. Failure to comply with a request for further information may result in the application being rejected.
5.9. Resilience NSW may determine that it is necessary to conduct a site visit to a Residential Property before determining whether the eligibility criteria in clause 4.1 have been met and whether the application should be approved. Applicants will be given reasonable notice of any proposed site visit. If an Applicant refuses to permit Resilience NSW to conduct the site visit, the application may be rejected.
5.10. Applicants must retain and provide on request, for a minimum of 24 months following the closing of the program, all documentation and evidence related to their eligibility, the application requirements outlined in these Terms and Conditions, and their use of the payments made under the Program (including Evidence of Monies Paid).
5.11. By applying to receive a payment under the Program, you consent to Service NSW and DCS disclosing personal information provided in accordance with these Terms and Conditions to each other for the purposes of administering, auditing or reporting on the Program. Without limiting this clause, Service NSW and DCS may share an Applicant’s information with other NSW Government agencies, including:
(a) Public Works Advisory, for the purposes of property damage assessments;
(b) Revenue NSW:
(i) for the purposes of verifying other NSW Government home and/or contents support received by the Applicant (available to those on low incomes and with limited realisable assets);
(ii) for the purposes of seeking to recover any payments made under the Program, including where Service NSW suspects that an Applicant has contravened the payment conditions;
(c) Resilience NSW, for the purposes of verifying other NSW Government home and/or contents support received by the Applicant and for program monitoring and evaluation;
(d) Identified disclosure to NSW Police of suspected cases of fraud.
5.12. Information provided in an application or otherwise in accordance with these Terms and Conditions must be true and correct. It is a serious offence to provide false or misleading information to a public authority. Where false or misleading information is provided, applications may be referred to law enforcement and penalties may apply.
6. Conditions on payment under the Program
6.1. All payments to an Applicant under the Program are made on the condition that:
(a) The eligibility criteria in clause 4 are met;
(b) The Applicant complies with the law at all times;
(c) The application complies with the requirements in clauses 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6, 5.7 and 5.8;
(d) The payments are used in accordance with clauses 3.3 and 3.44.
6.2. An Applicant must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions in clause 6.1 are or have been satisfied at all relevant times.
6.3. Upon receipt of payment under the Program, an Applicant declares that:
(a) to the best of its knowledge, the conditions in clause 6.1 are or have been satisfied at all relevant times; and
(b) it took and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the conditions in clause 6.1 are or have been satisfied.
6.4. Notwithstanding any other provision in these Terms and Conditions, Service NSW and/or Revenue NSW may take civil and/or criminal action (where appropriate), including referral to NSW Police, where Service NSW and/or Revenue NSW reasonably suspect that an Applicant or any person acting on behalf of an Applicant provider has failed to comply with the law or these Terms and Conditions.
6.5. Applicants may be audited or investigated by Service NSW and/or Revenue NSW to determine whether they are complying with these Terms and Conditions. Applicants must provide any information or documentation that is reasonably required for the purpose of any such audit or investigation.
6.6. Applicants consent to being contacted by Service NSW and/or Revenue NSW for a period of 24 months after receiving a payment under the Program for the purposes of reporting on and evaluating the Program. Applicants agree to provide any information that is reasonably required under this clause.
7.1. Payment made under the Program will be credited to the bank account identified in an Applicant’s application.
7.2. Payments made in accordance with clause 7.1 will be made as act of grace payments under section 5.7(1) of the GSF Act.
8. Recovery of payments
8.1. If an Applicant has received a payment under the Program, and Service NSW and/or Resilience NSW is satisfied that the conditions in clause 6.1 were, or have been, contravened, the payment or part of the payment may be recovered from the Applicant by the Crown in a court of competent jurisdiction as debt due to the Crown, pursuant to section 5.7(3) of the GSF Act.
9. Suspension, variation or termination of the Program
9.1. Notwithstanding any other provision of these Terms and Conditions, we reserve the right, at any time, to:
(a) suspend or terminate the entirety or any part of the Program
(b) refuse to approve an application for payment under the Program for any reason and at our sole discretion
(c) vary the Program Guidelines, these Terms and Conditions and the process for application
(d) suspend the operation of, or close, the application process
(e) alter or change the opening and closing date for applications
(f) reduce or extend the application period.
9.2. Any changes to the Program Guidelines, these Terms and Conditions or action taken to suspend or end the Program will be notified on Service NSW’s website.
10. Limitation of Liability
10.1. To the extent permitted by law, Service NSW, DCS and Resilience NSW (including their officers, employees and agents) will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential loss or damage or for any death, illness, personal injury, financial loss or property damage however caused (including by negligence) which may be suffered or incurred by an Applicant or any person arising directly or indirectly out of or in any way connected with the Program, including:
(a) any decision to make or refuse to make a payment under the Program, including on the basis that funds are unavailable,
(b) the fraudulent application for payments made under the Program,
(c) any breach of these Terms and Conditions, and/or
(d) any decision to suspend or terminate the entirety or any part of the Program.
11.1. An Applicant agrees to indemnify and keep indemnified DCS, Service NSW and Resilience NSW (including their officers, employees and agents) from and against any liability or loss (including reasonable legal costs and expenses), which may be suffered or incurred by any of those indemnified by reason of or in connection with the Applicant’s application for payment under the Program.
12.1. Applicants are responsible for seeking their own independent legal, business and financial advice regarding these Terms and Conditions, including any tax implications.
12.2. Failure by us to enforce any of our rights at any stage does not constitute a waiver of those rights. No rights under these Terms and Conditions will be waived except by notice in writing signed by both the Applicant and us.
12.3. These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the laws of the State of New South Wales. We and all Applicants submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the court of NSW and any court competent to hear appeals from those courts.
12.4. Where we issue a notice to the email address provided by an Applicant, the notice will be deemed to have been received by the Applicant immediately upon receipt of electronic transmission confirmation.
12.5. If any term in these Terms and Conditions is prohibited, void, voidable, illegal or unenforceable for any reason whatsoever, then that part is severed from these Terms and Conditions but without affecting the continued operation of the remaining Terms and Conditions.
12.6. Clauses 8, 10 and 11 contain continuing obligations and will survive termination of these Terms and Conditions.
(a) Payments made under the Program are intended to assist in the repair and replacement of the following essential household contents:
(i) Air conditioner
(ii) Bed bases
(iii) Bed mattresses
(v) Car seat – baby or child
(vi) Cot – baby
(ix) Computer and internet accessories
(x) Dining wall unit
(xi) Dining/kitchen suite
(xii) Dressing table/drawers
(xiii) Fan and/or heater
(xiv) Floor coverings
(xvi) Fry pan/Wok (Electric)
(xvii) High chair
(xviii) Hot water service
(xix) Iron and ironing board
(xxi) Kitchen cutlery/crockery
(xxii) Lawn mower
(xxiii) Linen/laundry cupboard
(xxiv) Lounge suite
(xxvii) Rice Cooker / slow cooker / grill
(xxviii) School requisites
(xxix) Stove / oven
(xxxii) Tools – basic
(xxxiii) Tools – required for employment (tools of trade)
(xxxvi) Vacuum cleaner
(xxxviii) Washing machine
(xxxix) Window coverings
(b) Payments made under the Program are intended to assist in the repair and replacement of the following structural components:
(ii) External wall materials
(iii) Roof materials
(iv) Walls and skirting boards
(v) Lights and power points
(vii) Doors and door frames
(viii) Windows and window frames
(ix) Ceiling and cornice
(c) Payments made under the Program are intended to assist in arranging the following services:
(i) the inspection and safe reconnection of utilities
(ii) the cleaning of a residential dwelling to remove flood debris and/or mould
(iii) moving to a new property (owner-occupiers and tenants)