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Northern Rivers Flood Buyback Scheme Offers Destroyed And Damaged Homes

Residents of the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales may now be able to move to higher ground after unprecedented floods earlier this year destroyed or severely damaged their homes.

Voluntary buyback scheme Targeting about 2,000 homes is one of three options for the $800 million program announced by state and federal governments in a joint statement on Thursday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “We know that climate change is expected to make disasters more frequent and more severe. We are developing solutions,” he said.

The buyback will be available to residents of “vulnerable areas where massive flooding poses a catastrophic risk to life.”

The program also includes up to $100,000 to build homes and up to $50,000 to remodel to better building codes.

New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet said the package offered options but warned “we cannot continue to rebuild as we have done in the past”.

“We will work with the Northern Rivers community to ensure that repairs, conversions and voluntary buybacks are done in a way that better protects people and their homes from future floods,” he said. .

Dominic Perrottet visited Lismore just days after devastating floods hit.(ABC News: Lani Heyman)

According to National Emergency Management Agency figures, 1,337 residential properties in the northern river were extensively damaged. Floods in February and March of this yearabout 5,000 homes were lightly to moderately damaged.

Lismore was the hardest hit, with over 600 homes severely damaged, including 332 in Richmond Valley and 250 in Tweed.

Nearly 1,000 participants from the Northern Rivers area stay in emergency housing.

Weather warnings and heavy rains threatened residents earlier this week, but the area was able to avoid major flooding.

The newly announced assistance is available to eligible homeowners in Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Municipal Areas.

Eligibility is based on expert property appraisals, flood impact severity data, safety risks, and potential future flood levels.

The foundation was washed away and the house collapsed.
The devastating effects of recent flooding are still evident in many areas of Lismore and beyond.(ABC North Coast: Bruce McKenzie)

Flood victims prompted to consider relocating

outlook of buyback scheme It was founded in July by David Witherdin, head of the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation established by the New South Wales Government.

Witherdin told ABC that the process is based on pre-flood market value and urged people living in high-risk areas to sell and seriously consider moving to higher ground.

“If there’s a way to never go through that trauma again, take it,” he said.

The question of where people can move is the subject of much debate.

The NSW Government launched the Resilient Land Program in early September, opening up suitable land for housing in seven eligible municipal areas.

The program aims to identify private land of at least 2 hectares.

$100 million has been set aside to purchase new land and unlock flood safe locations for future development.

More than 50 expressions of interest have been registered so far.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-27/northern-rivers-flood-house-buyback-scheme-announced/101578058 Northern Rivers Flood Buyback Scheme Offers Destroyed And Damaged Homes

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