A $112 million scheme to help NSW residents impacted by flooding will ensure that both the tenant and landlord of a flood-damaged property are able to receive support.
The new Back Home grants are available for residents and property owners in the Hawkesbury, Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, and Tweed local government areas that are uninsured or unable to make insurance claims for their loss.
Landlords and owner-occupiers can receive up to $15,000 to repair and refit damaged homes, while tenants and owner-occupiers can access $5,000 for the replacement of essential household items. Landlords cannot claim for the latter grant, and a maximum payout of $20,000 is available for any one property.
The home in question must have been assessed as damaged, destroyed or uninhabitable by the State Emergency Service (SES), and the grants are only available to those who have not received the means-tested Disaster Relief Grant.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the funding measures from Lismore on Monday, 4 April.
“Our overriding priority is to get people into safe housing, and we are looking at every possible avenue to do that,” Mr Perrottet said.
“For those people who have properties or homes that can be repaired, this grant can be the cash that they need to make urgent repairs such as fixing roofs, making properties watertight, connecting back to electricity and replacing furniture and fridges.”
Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said she hoped the grants would provide the necessary funding for those struggling to recoup their losses.
“The Back Home grants will help flood-affected communities return to their homes quicker by allowing them to make vital repairs and replace damaged white goods, equipment and crucial household items,” Ms Cooke said.
She added that the NSW government was “continuing to work closely with local government, government agencies and stakeholders on housing solutions to make sure people have a roof over their head while they try to rebuild their lives”.
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Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.