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 a dwelling upon a Residential Lot that is located in a Feb/March LGA or a June/July LGA and that has suffered damage as a result of an Eligible Disaster can apply to receive a one-off payment to help pay costs of restoring the dwelling 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.
Back Home Payment means a payment under the Program
DCS means the Department of Customer Service
Eligible Address means the street address of a Residential Lot
Eligible Applicant means a person who meets the eligibility criteria in clause 4.1
Eligible Disasters means:
(a) the NSW severe weather and flooding events commencing 22 February 2022 onwards (recorded under AGRN 1012 on the NSW Government ‘Natural disaster declarations’ website (‘Feb/March Event’);
(b) the NSW severe weather and flooding events commencing 27 June 2022 onwards (recorded under AGRN 1025 on the NSW Government ‘Natural disaster declarations’ website (‘June/July Event’).
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.
Feb/March Event means the NSW severe weather and flooding events commencing 22 February 2022 onwards (recorded under AGRN 1012 on the NSW Government ‘Natural disaster declarations’ website.
Feb/March LGA means the local government areas of Armidale, Ballina, Bellingen, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Byron, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Glen Innes Severn, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kyogle, Lismore, Lithgow, Penrith, Richmond Valley, Singleton, Tenterfield, The Hills, Tweed and includes the entirety of any suburb partly within these local government areas and partly within another local government area.
GSF Act means the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 (NSW).
Habitable Condition means a dwelling that is fit for human habitation, possessing basic amenities in working order, and not being in substantial disrepair.
June/July Event means the NSW severe weather and flooding events commencing 27 June 2022 onwards (recorded under AGRN 1025 on the NSW Government ‘Natural disaster declarations’ website.
June/July LGA means the local government areas of Blacktown, Camden, Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Liverpool, Maitland, Mid Coast, Penrith, Port Stephens, Singleton, Sutherland, The Hills, Wollongong and includes the entirety of any suburb partly within these local government areas and partly within another local government area.
Leasing Dwelling means a dwelling in a Residential Land Lease Community under the Residential (Land Lease) Communities Act 2013.
Main Premises means a self-contained dwelling situated on a Residential Lot that includes 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, in the case of units/flats/duplexes on unsubdivided Residential Property, one designated unit/flat/duplex, and
(b) that is not a motor vehicle, trailer or other registrable vehicle within the meaning of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).
One-time Customer means a customer affected by either the Feb/March Event or the June/July Event in relation to a single Eligible Address, but not both.
Owner-Investor means a person who is the registered proprietor of a Residential Lot in which they do not reside.
Owner-Occupier means a person who is the registered proprietor of a Residential Lot 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.
PWA means Public Works Advisory
Rental Bond Database means NSW Fair Trading’s service for lodging rental bonds. For more information, please visit the NSW Fair Trading website.
Residential Lot means a lot designated for residential purposes, with its own title, valued as one assessment under the Land Tax Management Act 1956 and its dominant use is for residential accommodation, but not hotels, motels, guest-houses, backpacker hostels, nursing homes, boarding or lodging houses.
Resilience NSW means the Crown in the right of the State of NSW acting through Resilience NSW.
Returning Customer means a customer affected by both the Feb/March Event and the June/July Event, having previously received a Back Home Payment in relation to the Feb/March Event for the same Eligible Address.
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 Lot, 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; and;
(b) comprises one or more major sections; 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 an Eligible Applicant, not being the owner, who has a current lease agreement for and resides at the Main Premises or Separate Dwelling (as the case may be), maintaining essential items of clothing, bedding, furniture and other goods necessary for the provision of day to day shelter, comfort and sustenance at the relevant Main Premises or Separate Dwelling.
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 payments may be available under the Program:
(a) or 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; and
(c) for an Applicant who is a Tenant – one-off payment of $5,000.
3.2. The following examples illustrate how the Program applies in respect of different living arrangements:
(a) An Owner-Occupier rents a spare room in their property on a Residential Lot 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 are Main Premises on a Residential Lot, and there is a shipping container in the backyard which a person resides in. The shipping container is linked to the Eligible Address. In this case, the person living in shipping container will be paid $5,000 as a Separate Dwelling. A separate $15,000 or $20,000 payment will be made for the Main Premises depending on whether leased or occupied by the registered proprietor.
(c) Four individuals live in a share house. Only one payment of $5,000 will be made to a Tenant 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 Dwellings.
(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, and will be considered, an Owner-Occupier under this program provided the Leasing Dwelling arrangement was entered into the relevant Eligible Disaster and remains current.
3.3. Where there are multiple dwellings at the same Residential Lot, Service NSW may, at its sole discretion, agree to treat each dwelling as a Separate Dwelling for the purposes of the Program.
3.4. Payments made under the Program must be used to contribute to the cost of restoring the relevant dwelling to a Habitable Condition or replacing Essential Household Items which have suffered damage as the result of the Eligible Disaster. 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 dwelling, 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 place of abode.
Annexure A to these Terms and Conditions contains a non-exhaustive list of items that payments made under the Program may be used for.
3.5. Back Home 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 relevant dwelling (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;
(e) booking or renting temporary or short-term accommodation or leasing of a new property; or,
(f) damage to external parts of the dwelling, including driveways and private roads, unless the damage prevents safe access to the dwelling or impacts the structural integrity of the dwelling.
4.1. An Applicant may be eligible for a Back Home Payment if:
(a) They are the owner of, or tenant residing in, a dwelling on a Residential Lot or a Leasing Dwelling that, as a direct result of the relevant Eligible Disaster, has:
(i) been destroyed or needs to be demolished;
(ii) been declared structurally unsound;
(iii) incurred disrepair to the interior;
(iv) its interior exposed the elements;
(v) sewage, which has gotten inside; and/or
(vi) sustained any such damage such that it is no longer habitable; and
(b) for the Feb/March Event, such dwelling is located in a Feb/March LGA; and/or
(c) for the June/July Event, such dwelling is located in a June/July LGA; and
Note: Service NSW will assess June/July Event applications against the NSW State Emergency Services database of addresses declared impacted by the June/July Event and may reject applications not listed in the database.
(d) they are unable to claim the cost of restoring the dwelling to a Habitable Condition or of replacing Essential Household Items under an insurance policy or other Government support. 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; and
(e) they are ineligible for other, more comprehensive support measures which are available for those on low incomes and with limited realisable assets.
4.2. Alternative circumstances
(a) dwellings that are not situated on land (for example, houseboats), may be eligible in certain circumstances, which Service NSW may determine in its sole discretion.
4.3. An Owner-Occupier, Owner-Investor or Tenant is not eligible to apply to receive payment under the Program if they have previously received a Back Home Payment 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, in the case of:
(a) the Feb/March Event, before 20 April 2023; and
(b) for the June/July Event, before 5 August 2023.
5.3. Service NSW will only accept:
(a) One Owner-Occupier application (for a one-off payment of $20,000) per Eligible Address. If there are multiple Owner-Occupiers in respect of the Eligible Address, one Owner-Occupier should submit the application on behalf of all Owner-Occupiers; or
(b) One Owner-Investor application (for a one-off payment of $15,000), and a one-off payment of $5,000 for the Tenant) per Eligible Address. If there are multiple Owner-Investors or multiple Tenants, in each case, one Owner-Investor/ one Tenant should submit the application on behalf of all Owner-Investors/ Tenants (as applicable).
(c) For Residential Lots comprising Main Premises and Separate Dwellings linked to an Eligible Address, separate applications from one tenant at each Separate Dwelling. Tenants should designate one responsible person per Separate Dwelling to submit the application on behalf of all persons residing at the Separate Dwelling. In addition, one Owner Occupier/Owner-Investor application for the Main Premises. Service NSW may provide, in its sole discretion, multiple Owner-Occupier/Owner-Investor applications per Separate Dwelling.
(d) For Leasing Dwellings, one Owner-Occupier application per Leasing Dwelling.
5.4. All applicants must:
(a) provide personal contact details (name, email and phone number);
(b) provide proof of identity;
(c) provide Australian bank account details for payment;
(d) nominate whether they are an Owner-Occupier, Owner-Investor or Tenant; and
(e) if the property is not listed on the State Emergency Service Damage Assessment Dashboard, supply photographic evidence of the damage caused by the applicable Eligible Disaster.
5.5. All applicants must provide the following Primary Documents as evidence of ownership or occupation (as applicable):
(a) if they are an Owner-Occupier:
(i) the Council Rates Notice for 2020-21 or 2021-22; and
(ii) for the Feb/March Event, a utility bill issued in their name between 1 January 2022 and 30 April 2022; and/or
(iii) for the June/July Event, a utility bill issued in their name between 1 May 2022 and 31 August 2022;
(b) if they are 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;
Note: Service NSW will verify registration of the Residential Land Lease Community with NSW Fair Trading
(c) if they are an Owner-Investor:
(i) the Council Rates Notice for 2020-21 or 2021-22; and
(ii) a copy of the current lease agreement or a screenshot from the Rental Bond Database showing the details of the relevant lease;
(d) if they are a Tenant residing in a dwelling situated on a Residential Lot on which there is no other dwelling:
(i) a copy of the current lease agreement or a screenshot from the Rental Bond Database showing the details of the relevant lease, and
(ii) for the Feb/March Event, a utility bill issued in their name between 1 January 2022 and 30 April 2022; and/or
(iii) for the June/July Event, a utility bill issued in their name between 1 May 2022 and 31 August 2022;
(iv) a Tenant who cannot produce the Primary Documents, may substitute one of the Primary Documents for a government-issued document in their name that displays the Eligible Address, such as
(v) vehicle registration notice, or
(vi) a letter from Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, Service NSW or Transport for NSW
(e) if they are a Tenant residing in a dwelling situated on a Residential Lot on which there are other dwellings:
(i) for the Main Premises, the Tenant must comply with clause 5.5(d)
(ii) for each Separate Dwelling, the Tenants must provide:
(A) a copy of the current lease agreement, commencing prior to the applicable Eligible Disaster 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
(B) for the Feb/March Event, a utility bill issued in their name between 1 January 2022 and 30 April 2022; and/or
for the June/July Event, a utility bill issued in their name between 1 May 2022 and 31 August 2022. If a relevant utility bill is not available, a government-issued document in their name that displays the applicable Eligible Address, and
(C) 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.
(f) Service NSW may request additional evidence where it cannot verify the Eligible Address or any other fact, matter or statement.
5.6. Service NSW reserves the right to request from Returning Customers any additional information or evidence which, in Service NSW reasonable opinion, is necessary to distinguish between Feb/March Event and June/July Event claims.
5.7. Service NSW reserves the right to refuse an application where eligibility criteria are not met, or where the applicant does not or cannot provide sufficient information to determine if eligibility criteria have been met.
5.8. 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).
5.9. 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.
5.10. Service NSW or 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.
5.11. 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 and/or Resilience NSW, for the purposes of property damage assessments and/or verifying eligibility;
(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 and 5.7 (as applicable); and
(d) The payments are used in accordance with clauses 3.4 and 3.5.
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 the Applicant’s knowledge, the conditions in clause 6.1 are or have been satisfied at all relevant times; and
(b) the Applicant 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, and/or
(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. Before applying for financial assistance under this program, applicants should seek advice from their legal, business or financial advisers about the tax implications of this financial assistance.
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.
The Back Home Payments are intended to assist in the repair and replacement of the following essential household contents:
- Air conditioner
- Bed bases
- Bed mattresses
- Car seat – baby or child
- Cot – baby
- Computer, communications, and internet accessories
- Dining wall unit
- Dining/kitchen suite
- Dressing table/drawers
- Fan and/or heater
- Floor coverings
- Fry pan/Wok (Electric)
- High chair
- Hot water service
- Iron and ironing board
- Kitchen cutlery/crockery
- Lawn mower
- Linen/laundry cupboard
- Lounge suite
- Rice Cooker/slow cooker/grill
- School requisites
- Tools – basic
- Tools – required for employment (tools of trade)
- Vacuum cleaner
- Washing machine
- Window coverings
The Back Home Payments are intended to assist in the repair and replacement of the following structural components:
- External wall materials
- Roof materials
- Walls and skirting boards
- Lights and power points
- Doors and door frames
- Windows and window frames
- Ceiling and cornice
The Back Home Payments are intended to assist in arranging the following services:
- the inspection and safe reconnection of utilities
- the cleaning of dwellings to remove flood debris and/or mould
- moving to a place of abode (Tenants only).