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Flood-affected homeowners, renters and landlords can now apply for ‘Back Home’ grant payments to help replace appliances, reconnect utilities and carry out structural repairs to make their homes safe and habitable again.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the $112 million package, co-funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, would provide one-off payments of $20,000 for owner-occupiers, $15,000 for landlords, and $5000 for renters across the Hawkesbury, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Local Government Areas.
“Housing continues to be one of our most pressing priorities in flood-affected communities, especially across the Northern Rivers, and this package helps support their rebuild and recovery,” Mr Toole said.
“We want to see people safely back in their homes. This grant provides payments to help people make critical repairs like fixing roofs, reconnecting utilities or replacing furniture and whitegoods.”
Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Victor Dominello said more than 10,000 homes had been assessed as damaged, with more than 4,000 assessed as uninhabitable across the State.
“Anyone who has registered already will receive an alert that the system is now taking formal application. More than 5,900 residents have already registered their interest in the ‘Back Home’ grant and Service NSW will be reaching out to them in the coming days to ensure this support is delivered as quickly as possible. Impacted households can apply on the Service NSW website or via the app, with support also available on 13 77 88,” Mr Dominello said.
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the ‘Back Home’ grant is one of the many ways the NSW Government is helping flood-affected communities rebuild.
“This support will help people get back to their homes as quickly as possible as they work to recover from these devastating floods,” Ms Cooke said.
“The ‘Back Home’ grant is also open to those with damaged households in suburbs that adjoin the hardest hit council areas.
“We are working hard to ensure these grants make it into the hands of those who need it most, regardless of where they live.”
The funds can go towards any clean-up costs to restore housing to a habitable condition, including:
- Inspection and safe reconnection of utilities, such as electrical, gas, water, hot water and sewerage equipment not otherwise the responsibility of utility companies;
- Necessary replacement or repairs to damaged essential household goods such as refrigerators, ovens, washing machines and microwaves;
- Necessary replacement or repairs to damaged equipment such as computers and tools;
- Replacing other essential household contents;
- Moving to a new property; and
- Necessary structural repairs including roof, flooring, walls and fitting replacement (owners).
In addition to the 8 hardest hit LGAs, the ‘Back Home’ grant can be accessed by owners and renters with households in the following adjoining areas:
- Agnes Banks
- Coombadjha (2460)
- Dirty Creek
- Halfway Creek
- Leets Vale
- Lower Portland
- Newton Boyd
- Ten Mile Hollow
- The Gulf
- Upper Corindi (2456)
- Wisemans Ferry
Low-income earners who are successful in their application for the Disaster Relief Grant (DRG) are unable to apply for the Back Home grant. However, anyone who doesn’t qualify for the DRG can apply for the Back Home.
For more information on the ‘Back Home’ grant and to apply, please visit the Service NSW website.