Temporary housing site can fit up to 220 people at Wollongbar

Updated May 3 2022 - 10:32am, first published April 29 2022 - 11:50am
SET UP: Temporary housing pods have arrived and are being set up at Wollongbar for flood affected residents from across the Northern Rivers.
SET UP: Temporary housing pods have arrived and are being set up at Wollongbar for flood affected residents from across the Northern Rivers.

Temporary housing has arrived with the NSW Government's first delivery of pods being set up in an accommodation site at Wollongbar.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the delivery of the first temporary housing site is an important step in providing medium term housing support.

"For many residents across the Northern Rivers returning home is simply not an option. Temporary housing will play a big role in providing the accommodation that's desperately needed," Mr Toole said.

"The Wollongbar site will have the capacity to house up to 220 people. In addition to smaller 'pod' style set ups, 30 caravans are in position."

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the NSW Government is doing everything possible to find housing solutions for flood-affected communities while they work to rebuild.

"Housing is one of the greatest challenges we face in the wake of the unprecedented flooding. Our priority is for everyone affected by this disaster to have access to safe housing while they rebuild and recover," Ms Cooke said.

"Wherever possible we want to support people in getting back to their homes which is why it's so important to have medium term housing solutions, like these pods, in place.

"Once the Wollongbar site is established and the connection of utilities is complete it will be handed over to housing provider, North Coast Community Housing, with the first accommodation to be allocated by early May."

More than a dozen temporary accommodation sites are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.

The NSW Government is also working on longer-term housing solutions for flood-affected communities.

The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation has been created and tasked with coordinating planning, rebuilding and construction work of essential services, infrastructure and housing beyond the immediate response and recovery phase.

Meanwhile, the first of 40 modular homes for Northern Rivers flood victims have been built through Corrective Services Industries in Goulburn and Cessnock correctional centres.

A/Director External Services Corrective Services Industries Blake Conwell says inmates are gaining valuable trade skills while helping provide urgent relief accommodation.

"We have around 120 inmates working on the project, who've shown great interest and recognise the value of providing modular housing solutions to support vulnerable communities," Mr Conwell says.

The single module design units are destined for temporary housing sites in the Northern Rivers.

Each module is designed for two people and includes a kitchen, bathroom, laundry and air-conditioning.

Flood-affected community members seeking housing support are urged to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88, visit nsw.gov.au/floods or speak to Recovery Centre staff.