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1. About the program

(a) The Rental Support Payment Program (Program) is made by agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018.

(b) Under the Program, Eligible Applicants will be provided a one-off payment to help pay Commercial Accommodation costs where they are directly impacted by:

(i) the NSW severe weather and flooding events commencing 22 February 2022 onwards (recorded under AGRN 1012) (Feb/March Event); and/or
(ii) the NSW severe weather and flooding events commencing 27 June 2022 onwards (recorded under AGRN 1025) (June/July Event),

(together, Eligible Disaster).

(c) To assist customers unable to find Commercial Accommodation due to short supply, special needs with regards to employment, schooling or carer responsibilities, Private Accommodation arrangements may be accepted, subject to certain conditions.  

2. How the Program works

(a) The Program comprises a one-off payment to assist Eligible Households pay for Commercial Accommodation/Private Accommodation (together, Short-term Accommodation), where they have had to evacuate their Residential Property.

(b) The Residential Property must be the applicant’s Principal Place of Residence at the time of the Eligible Disaster and be Non-habitable, due to being directly impacted by the Eligible Disaster.

(c) The Rental Support Payment is scalable, based on the number of people residing in the Residential Property. Payments start from $6,000, increasing per additional individual residing in the Residential Property requiring paid Short-term Accommodation.

(d) The length of Short-term Accommodation must be a minimum of 14 nights, commencing, in the case of:

(i) One-time Customers applying for the Feb/March Event, 22 February 2022 or later; and
(ii) One-time Customers and Returning Customers applying for the June/July Event, 27 June 2022 or later

(e) A Rental Support Payment is only available to individuals:

(i) not otherwise covered by an insurance policy that includes temporary accommodation, or
(ii) where the amount covered for temporary accommodation under an insurance policy is insufficient to cover the entirety of the cost of the Short-term Accommodation.

3. Eligibility Criteria

3.1 Eligible Applicants

(a) A maximum of:

(i) one application for One-time Customers per Residential Property address will be accepted; and
(ii) two applications (one for the Feb/March Event and the other for the June/July Event) for Returning Customers per Residential Property address will be accepted.

(b) To be eligible:

(i) all applicants must:

(A) be a NSW resident,

(B) be 18 years or older,

(C) at the time of the Eligible Disaster, resided at the Principal Place of Residence. For the avoidance of doubt, registered proprietors of Residential Property that did not reside at the property are ineligible. Further, persons present at the Residential Property at the time of the Eligible Disaster that do not ordinarily reside there as their Principal Place of Residence are also ineligible;

(D) not have insurance that covers temporary accommodation, or where they have insurance that covers temporary accommodation, the insurance must be insufficient to cover the entirety of the cost of the Short-term Accommodation,

(ii) the relevant Principal Place of Residence must:

(A) be Non-habitable as a result of being directly impacted by the Eligible Disaster,

(B) for the Feb/March Event, be in a Feb/March Suburb, and

(C) for the June/July Event, be in a June/July LGA.

Note: there are approximately 732 suburbs included in both the Feb/March Suburb list and situated in a June/July LGA. Applications made in relation to such suburbs will be processed as set out in clause 8.1, depending on the number of times the applicant has applied.

3.2  Ineligible Applicants

(a) The following are ineligible:

(i) all non-owner-occupiers/investors,

(ii) owner-occupiers or renters of a habitable Residential Property (as determined against the definition of Non-habitable),

(iii) owner-occupiers or renters that do not require paid Short-term Accommodation,

(iv) individuals that do not have the authority to apply on behalf of the Eligible Household, and

(v) applicants impacted by the Feb/March Event that have, since the Feb/March Event, permanently relocated and their current Principal Place of Residence is not affected by the June/July Event.

4. How to apply

4.1 Applicants may apply:

(a) online through the Service NSW website via a MyServiceNSW Account, held in the name of the applicant; or

(b) in person, at a Service NSW Service Centre or Service NSW Recovery Centre.

4.2 Properties with shared living arrangements, multiple dwellings not assigned individual lots or with multiple residences will need to designate one responsible person per Residential Property address to submit the application on behalf of all residents and distribute funds.   

4.3 If applying:

(a) online, applicants must fully complete the online application and submit all requisite documentation as stated on the application before the application close date, which will be communicated via the Service NSW website; or

(b) in person, applicants must fully complete the application and submit copies of all requisite documentation as stated on the application before the application close  date which will be communicated via the Service NSW website.

4.4 Applications for the:

(a) Feb/March Event will be accepted from 24 March 2022, and

(b) June/July Event will be accepted from 5 August 2022. 

4.5 Notwithstanding the application start date in clause 4.4, Short-term Accommodation bookings:

(a) for the Feb/March Event will be accepted from 22 February 2022, and

(b) for the June/July Event will be accepted from 27 June 2022.

5. Program amount 

5.1 Subject to clause 5.3, payment under the Program will be made as a one-off amount determined by the number of individuals in the Eligible Household requiring paid Short-term Accommodation, as follows:

(a) for a 1 person household, $6,000,

(b) for a 2 person household, $7,200,

(c) for a 3 person household, $9,200,

(d) for a 4 person household, $12,400,

(e) for a 5 person household, $15,200,

(f) for a 6 person household, $18,000, and 

(g) for each person above 6, an additional $2,800. 

5.2 For the avoidance of doubt, Rental Support Payments will not be made for individuals residing at the Residential Property that do not require Short-term Accommodation. For example, if for any reason 2 out of 5 people residing at the Residential Property do not require paid Short-term Accommodation, only $9,200 will be paid for the 3 individuals that require paid Short-term Accommodation.

5.3. In accordance with these guidelines, Returning Customers may receive an additional one-off payment if directly impacted by the June/July Event. The amount will be determined with reference to the number of individuals residing at the Residential Property at the time of the June/July Event as set out in clause 5.1.

6. How funding may be used

6.1 The Rental Support Payment can be used for either Commercial Accommodation or Private Accommodation, in accordance with clause 6.3 and clause 6.4, respectively.

6.2 The Rental Support Payment is intended for the accommodation cost only. For the avoidance of doubt, the Rental Support Payment is not intended to be used towards incidental costs when staying in Short-term Accommodation (such as food or drinks, entertainment, transportation and relocation) or other costs (such as insurance and additional accommodation provider services).

6.3 Commercial Accommodation 
The Rental Support Payment may be used towards the cost of Commercial Accommodation where:

(a) the Commercial Accommodation is at a fixed address in Australia; 

(b) the length of the Commercial Accommodation booking is for 14 nights or more, commencing from the dates stipulated in clause 2(d) (as applicable); and

(c) the number of individuals nominated in the application for a payment under this Program correlates with the number of individuals requiring Commercial Accommodation.

6.4 Private Accommodation 
The Rental Support Payment may be used towards the cost of Private Accommodation where:

(a) the Private Accommodation is at a fixed address in Australia;

(b) the length of the Private Accommodation arrangement is for 14 nights or more, commencing from the dates stipulated in clause 2(d) (as applicable); and

(c) the number of individuals nominated in the application for a payment under this Program correlates with the number of individuals requiring Private Accommodation; 

(d) the Private Accommodation arrangement involves: 

(i) payment of a fee. Where the fee is paid by electronic funds transfer, evidence of the payment must be retained. Where the fee is paid in cash, a receipt must be obtained. In either case, a statutory declaration from the Private Accommodation provider must be obtained; and 

(ii) entering into a Private Accommodation agreement using the Prescribed Form. 

Note: clause 8 sets out more information on the evidence requirements for Commercial Accommodation and Private Accommodation. 

7. Application evidence

7.1 All applicants must:

(a) provide personal contact details (full name, email and phone number)

(b) provide proof of identity

(c) provide Australian bank account details for payment of the Rental Support Payment

(d) state the number of persons who live at the residence requiring Short-term Accommodation

(e) if self-declaring their Residential Property is Non-habitable, provide photographic evidence of the damage to the property caused by the Eligible Disaster where practicable.

7.2 Subject to clause 7.3, applications must provide the following documents as evidence of their Principal Place of Residence:

(a) if they are the registered proprietor of the Residential Property, either:

(i) the Council Rates Notice, or

(ii) utility bill, for the Residential Property that is no more than 12 months old 

(b) if they are not the registered proprietor of the Residential Property but residing at the 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 that is no more than 12 months old, for the Residential Property. 

7.3 Any applicant that cannot provide one of the documents in clause 7.2, may provide two government-issued documents displaying their address, in substitution of one of the documents in clause 7.2, such as: 

(a) a vehicle registration notice, or 

(b) a letter from Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, Service NSW or Transport for NSW.

8. Application assessment and compliance activities 

8.1 At the time of applying:

(a) One-time Customers claiming for 6 or more people in relation to the Feb/March Event must provide:

(i) Evidence of Commercial Accommodation Bookings or a fully completed Prescribed Form, as applicable; and

(ii) all other documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and the application requirements including photographic evidence, where practicable, of the Residential Property showing the direct severe weather and flood-related damage.

(b) One-time Customers claiming for any number of people in relation to the June/July Event must provide: 

(i) Evidence of Commercial Accommodation Bookings or a fully completed Prescribed Form, as applicable; and/or 

(ii) Evidence of Monies Paid; and/or 

(iii) all other documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and the application requirements including photographic evidence, where practicable, of the Residential Property showing the direct severe weather and flood-related damage.

(c) Returning Customers claiming for any number of people in relation to the June/July Event must: 

(i) comply with clause 8.1(b) in relation to the June/July Event application; and 

(ii) provide with the June/July Event application, in relation to the Feb/March Event application:  

(A) Evidence of Commercial Accommodation Bookings or a fully completed Prescribed Form, as applicable; and/or 

(B) Evidence of Monies Paid; and/or 

(C) all other documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and the application requirements including photographic evidence, where practicable, of the Residential Property showing the direct severe weather and flood-related damage.

Note: Service NSW will assess June/July Event applications (irrespective of whether the customer is a One-time Customer or Returning Customer) 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. 

8.2 During compliance activities, if not provided at the time of applying, applicants may be required to provide:

(a) Evidence of Commercial Accommodation Bookings or a fully completed Prescribed Form, as applicable; and;

(b) Evidence of Monies Paid; and 

(c) all other documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and the application requirements including photographic evidence, where practicable, of the Residential Property showing the direct severe weather and flood-related damage. 

8.3 Service NSW or its agents may, as necessary to assess an application:

(a) request further information, and/or

(b) make enquiries with third parties about any application, including from a Commercial Accommodation or Private Accommodation provider. 

8.4 For 12 months from the date of receipt of the Rental Support Payment, Eligible Applicants must retain and produce on request:

(a) Evidence of the Commercial Accommodation Booking or Prescribed Form (as applicable),

(b) Evidence of Monies Paid, and

(c) all other documentation and evidence related to their eligibility and the application requirements including photographic evidence, where practicable, of the Residential Property showing the direct severe weather and flood-related damage.

Note: Returning Customers must retain supporting evidence in accordance with clause 8.4 for all Rental Support Payments.

8.5 In circumstances where an applicant cannot provide photographic evidence that the Residential Property is Non-habitable, Service NSW may request the applicant provide further information to establish eligibility. Failure to comply with such request will be dealt with in accordance with clauses 8.6 and/or 8.10. 

8.6 Service NSW reserves the right to refuse an application where the eligibility criteria are not met, or where the applicant does not or cannot provide sufficient information to determine if eligibility criteria have been met. Failure to comply with a request for further information or evidence by Service NSW or its agents may lead to rejection of an application.  

8.7 Resilience NSW may conduct site visits to assess the applicant’s eligibility and conduct compliance activities. For example, to assess that the Residential Property is Non-habitable. 

8.8 Applicants must consent to Service NSW conducting an audit of booking confirmations, tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements or other similar records to verify the amounts paid under the Program have been used in accordance with these guidelines and the Terms and Conditions.  

8.9 Applicants must agree that information and evidence submitted as part of the application will be verified by government agencies such as Service NSW, Department of Customer Service, Revenue NSW and others.

8.10 The Rental Support Payment will be repayable on demand if any application information is found to be false or misleading, the Rental Support Payment is not apportioned with other members of the Eligible Household or the grant is not used in accordance with the terms of funding, as set out in these guidelines. 

8.11 Applicants must declare the information provided in their application is true and correct. Penalties may apply for false or misleading information. Where false or misleading information is provided, applications may be referred to law enforcement. 

8.12 Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria in these guidelines and the Terms and Conditions. 

8.13 Applications submitted may be subject to audit activities by Service NSW or its agents, the purpose of which will be to determine compliance with Program guidelines and Terms and Conditions.

9. Other information 

9.1 Before applying for financial assistance under the Program, applicants should seek advice from their legal, business or financial advisers about the tax implications of this financial assistance.

9.2 Complete applications will be assessed in the order in which they are lodged. Incomplete applications will not enter the assessment queue until all required information is provided.

9.3 Resilience NSW / Service NSW reserves the right to amend these guidelines and application terms at any time as they deem appropriate in their sole discretion. 

9.4 Service NSW will endeavour to process all applications and notify all applicants of the outcome of their application as soon as possible. 

9.5 Applicants can make a complaint or dispute regarding their application outcome by lodging a complaint form on the Service NSW website. Service NSW will endeavour to resolve disputes or complaints within 28 days. 

9.6 Further information may be obtained at the Service NSW website or by calling 13 77 88.

10. Evaluation

10.1 The NSW Government is committed to providing excellent service that responds to your needs through well targeted programs. For this reason, the NSW Government evaluates its programs. This sometimes includes contact with customers to ask about assistance received, for example via surveys. The NSW Government will always treat the responses as confidential and use the information only for the same purpose it was collected. 
 

11. Definitions

Commercial Accommodation means premises that operate as, or establishments that offer, a place of temporary residence, lodging or occupancy by way of commercial or paid arrangement. Types include:

(a) hotel or motel accommodation, 

(b) short-terms rental accommodation. For example, Airbnbs or vacation homes,

(c) backpackers’ accommodation,

(d) serviced apartments,

(e) holiday parks, 

(f) rental of mobile homes/caravans for use on private property,

(g) residential tenancies where a short-term lease agreement is in place. 
 

Defined Disaster Area means:

(a) the Feb/March Suburbs; and

(b) the June/July LGAs.

Eligible Disaster has the meaning given in clause 1(b).

Eligible Household means the individual/s ordinarily residing at the Eligible Property Address. 

Eligible Property Address means the street address of a Residential Property in either case, as follows:

(a) for the Feb/March Event, in a Feb/March Suburb

(b) for the June/July Event, in a June/July LGA. 

Evidence of Monies Paid means evidence of payment for the Short-term Accommodation, which may include: 

(a) for Commercial Accommodation, a receipt or tax invoice of the Commercial Accommodation payment that includes: 

(i) the Commercial Accommodation provider’s name, 

(ii) the Commercial Accommodation provider’s address; 

(iii) if different to the Commercial Accommodation provider’s address, the street address of the premises; 

(iv) the Commercial Accommodation provider’s ABN (if applicable); 

(v) a description of each item to which the receipt relates, and

(vi) the amounts paid (including GST, if applicable);  

(b) for Private Accommodation

(i) a statutory declaration from the Private Accommodation provider stating they received the agreed fee as stipulated in the Prescribed Form from the applicant; and 

(i) where paid by electronic funds transfer, a copy of the applicant’s transaction and/or bank statement, or where paid in cash, a receipt for payment, showing payment of the agreed fee as stipulated in the Prescribed Form. 

Evidence of Commercial Accommodation Booking may include tax invoice, email confirmation of the booking or reservation or lease agreement. Evidence submitted must include: 

(a) the name of the applicant, 

(b) the location of the Short-term Accommodation, 

(c) the number of people the booking is for,  

(d) the amount owed, and 

(e) the date range of the accommodation (which demonstrates 14 nights or more). 

Feb/March Event has the meaning given in clause 1(b)(i).

Feb/March Suburbs means a suburb within the local government areas listed in the ‘Financial year 2021-22’ table in respect of NSW Severe Weather and Flooding from 22 February 2022 onwards Australian Government reference number (AGRN 1012) available on the NSW Government ‘Natural disaster declarations’ website, which was issued an NSW State Emergency Services flood warning/order or has been captured in other impact data showing flood extent. February and March 2022 floods highly impacted suburbs.

June/July Event has the meaning given in clause 1(b)(ii).

June/July LGAs means the local government areas listed in the ‘Financial year 22-23' table in respect of NSW Severe Weather and Flooding from 27 June 2022 onwards Australian Government reference number (AGRN 1025) available on the NSW Government ‘Natural disaster declarations’ website.

Major Damage means the Residential Property has: 

(a) been destroyed or must be demolished, 

(b) been declared structurally unsound, 

(c) incurred substantial disrepair to the interior, 

(d) its interior exposed to the elements, and/or 

(e) sewage inside.  

Non-habitable means a Residential Property that, due to the Eligible Disaster: 

(a) is no longer fit and/or safe for human habitation, or 

(b) possesses basic amenities that are no longer in working order, or 

(c) has incurred Major Damage. 

One-time Customer means a customer affected by either the Feb/March Event or the June/July Event in relation to a single Residential Property address, but not both.

Prescribed Form means the template Private Accommodation agreement published on the Service NSW website, or other template, which includes the following fields: 

(a) the name of the applicant, 

(b) the name/s of the Private Accommodation provider,

(c) the street address of the Private Accommodation, 

(d) the number of people staying at the Private Accommodation,  

(e) the agreed fee, 

(f) the bond amount (if applicable), and

(g) the date range, which demonstrates 14 nights or more. 

Principal Place of Residence means the Residential Property in which, at the time of the Eligible Disaster, the Eligible Household normally resided and maintained essential items of clothing, bedding, furniture and other goods necessary for the provision of day-to-day shelter, comfort and sustenance.

Private Accommodation means residential premises that have been offered as:

(a) temporary residence,

(b) lodging,

(c) occupancy, or

(d) a location within the premises to park a caravan or motor home, 

to individual/s ordinarily residing at an Eligible Property Address in exchange for payment of a fee. 

Program has the meaning given in clause 1.(a). 

Rental Support Payment means a payment made under the Program. 

Residential Property means; 

(a) a house, 

(b) an apartment, or 

(c) a moveable dwelling such as caravan, motorhome, relocatable home, cabin or shipping container linked to an eligible property address, noting the requirement in clause 4.2, that a maximum of one application will be accepted per Residential Property address. 

Returning Customer means a customer affected by both the Feb/March Event and the June/July Event, having previously received a Rental Support Payment in relation to the Feb/March Event for the same Residential Property address.

Short-term Accommodation has the meaning given in clause 2(a).

Terms and Conditions means the terms and conditions applicable to the Program, as published on the Service NSW website

Last updated: 5 August 2022