Northern Rivers flood grant support sessions – Ballina

Flood grant support sessions in Ballina from 27 July to 3 August. Northern Rivers businesses and residents can discuss a new or existing flood grant application. Specialists will be on hand to offer support and help with questions. 

Call 13 77 88 to book or find out more information.

Back Home grant eligibility criteria has expanded

  • Owner-occupiers of a dwelling in a residential land lease community can now apply for a $20,000 grant.
  • Tenants living in a separate dwelling to a main dwelling can soon apply for a $5,000 grant, even if the owner-occupier of the main dwelling has already claimed a $20,000 grant. If you meet the expanded eligibility criteria, you can complete our form to be notified when you can apply. 
Text size

Introduction

If your home has been damaged by the February and March 2022 storms and floods, you may be eligible for a one-off payment to help cover the costs of restoring your property to a habitable condition or replacing essential household items.

Payments are available as follows:

  • $20,000 for owner-occupiers to repair or replace essential household items and/or restore housing to a habitable condition
  • $15,000 for owner-investors to restore housing to a habitable condition
  • $5,000 for tenants to repair or replace essential household items or relocate these items to a new residential property.

You must declare the information provided in your 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. Read the guidelines before you apply.

Applications close on 20 April 2023. 

Eligibility

You're eligible to apply if you’re:

  • an owner of, or a tenant that lives in (or lived in at the time of the floods), a damaged property located within a suburb of the following highly impacted local government areas: 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, and Tweed. 
  • unable to claim the costs of restoring the damaged property to a habitable condition or replacing essential household contents under an insurance policy, including if you’re:
    • uninsured for severe weather and/or flood damage;
    • insured for severe weather and/or flood damage but do not have sufficient funding from your insurance claim; or
    • unable to claim for severe weather and/or flood damage
  • ineligible for other, more comprehensive support measures available for those on low incomes and with limited assets.

You’re not eligible to apply if your insurance covers you completely for structural repairs or to replace essential household items.

Note: You can only receive either the disaster relief grant or the Back Home grant. If you apply for the Back Home grant, and are also successful in your application for the disaster relief grant, the Back Home grant amount you receive will be deducted from the overall support.

Eligible properties

  • Only one application per residential property will be accepted. 
  • Where a property is leased, tenants may apply for $5,000 to replace essential household items and owner-investors may apply for $15,000 for essential structural repairs. 
  • Residential properties with shared living arrangements or with multiple owners or tenants, will need to designate one person to submit the application on behalf of all parties and distribute funds.
  • Residential properties with one or more dwellings or residences on the same property separate from the main property will need to apply separately.
  • If your home is a moveable dwelling, such as a caravan, motorhome, or relocatable home, you’ll need to have supporting documents to apply.

Eligible payment uses

Payments may be used to: 

  • replace or repair whitegoods, kitchen and household appliances, household laundry and cleaning equipment, cooking utensils, essential personal communications devices, furniture and bedding
  • restore or replace damaged roofing, flooring, walls, fittings and fixtures
  • inspect and reconnect damaged utilities, including necessary replacement or repairs to electrical, gas, water, hot water, and sewerage equipment. 

Refer to the guidelines for a comprehensive list of eligible essential household items and structural repairs. 

Payments cannot be used to: 

  • build new infrastructure which did not exist prior to the floods
  • tailor temporary accommodation pods/modules funded by the NSW Government
  • replace or repair essential household items not stored or located at the eligible property 
  • replace or repair damaged items that are used for business or commercial purposes
  • cover booking or rental costs for temporary or short-term accommodation or leasing of a new property. 

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account – you can create one when you start your application
  • your name, email address and phone number
  • your proof of identity
  • your Australian bank account details for payment
  • your status in relation to the damaged property (owner-occupier, owner-investor or tenant)
  • photographic evidence of the direct damage to the inside and outside of your property/dwelling will be required if the property is not listed on the State Emergency Service Damage Assessment Dashboard
  • evidence that you own and/or live in the damaged property, as follows:
    • if you're an owner-occupier:
      • council rates notice for 2020-21 or 2021-22, and
      • utility bill that is no more than 4 months old
    • if you're an owner-investor:
      • council rates notice for 2020-21 or 2021-22
    • if you're a tenant:
      • copy of your current rental agreement or a screenshot from the Rental Bond Database showing the details of the relevant lease, and
      • utility bill that is no more than 4 months old
      • Note: if you're unable to provide the above documents, you may substitute one of the above documents for a government-issued document that shows your name and the address of the damaged property, such as a:
        • vehicle registration notice
        • letter from Centrelink, the Australian Tax Office, Service NSW or Transport for NSW.
      • if you're a tenant living in a multiple dwelling residential property, for each separate dwelling:
        • 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 
          • a utility bill in your name that is no more than 4 months old
          • Note: If this is not available, a government-issued document in your name that displays the address of the residential property, and photos of the separate dwelling in which you reside, showing its proximity to the main premise, and its kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living area, and toilet and laundry facilities. 
      • if you're an owner-occupier of a leasing dwelling
        • copy of the relevant site agreement showing your name. If there is no site agreement:
          • evidence of payment of the relevant site fees, and
          • evidence of ownership of the leasing dwelling, such as the contract for sale to purchase the leasing dwelling, and
          • a government-issued document in your name that displays the address of the leasing dwelling. 

Auditing requirements

You may be audited in the future, so you’ll need to keep all documentary evidence related to your application for 2 years (until 20 April 2024). You may also need to demonstrate that you’re unable to claim the costs of restoring your damaged property to a habitable condition or replacing essential household contents under an insurance policy. 

Proof of identity

Two proof of identity documents are required. They may include:

  • Australian driver licence
  • Medicare card
  • Australian passport
  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian travel visa
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Australian certificate of registration by descent
  • Australian ImmiCard.

How to apply

  1. Check you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Have your documentation and evidence ready for uploading.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Follow the prompts to apply for the grant.

When you submit your application, you'll receive a confirmation email with an application reference number. 

After your application is received, it will be reviewed. We'll contact you if additional information to support your application is required. If your application is approved, a payment will be transferred to your specified bank account within 5 to 10 business days.

If you're not able to apply online, please call 13 77 88 for more information, or visit a Service NSW Centre or Recovery Centre with your supporting documents.