DEALING with a housing crisis is nothing new for South Lismore resident Susi St Julian.
Susi moved to the Northern Rivers in 1984 and has worked in social housing and other welfare groups across the region.
She bought her current home in South Lismore 16 years ago and is now picking up the pieces after two major floods.
The 70-year-old is one of many planning her next move while she waits on more support from insurance companies and the government.
"We were already in a housing crisis and now you have another 10,000 people who need homes," she said.
"I tried to apply for the $20,000 grant that everyone is getting, but spent an hour on the phone going around in circles.
"About halfway through the call they said the money had already been claimed, so then they told me it was either an administration error or someone trying to scam them.
"They eventually said the case file will remain open and they'll let me know in another 10 days what's happening.
"All of these grants are really hard to get and we need to know what's true and what isn't, there's a lot of confusion.
"It's just dragging on and on; I've spent $10,000 on my place already with electricity, plumbing and fixing up the driveway."
Susi is one of the lucky ones, she has a small apartment in Ballina used by the department of housing, but prefers the space she has now, having grown up on a farm.
The expenses are also piling up while she has trouble doing her own clean up work going up and down stairs with two bad knees.
"I didn't have flood cover because it was $25,000 a year," she said.
"I had a $700,000 house three months ago and now I don't really know what it's worth.
All of these grants are really hard to get and we need to know what's true and what isn't, there's a lot of confusion.- Susi St Julian
"If someone came along tomorrow and offered me $400,000 for it I would probably take it and walk away.
"The deck is worth $80,000 alone; it's like living in the country here with all the space I have around me.
"That's why I love it here; I wasn't poor when I moved in here but I wasn't rich either.
"People say its just the poor that live down here and it's not true, a lot of them are down here because they love the community.
"I love the birds and all the wildlife here.
"I really can't complain though, there are a lot of people worse off than me.
"I don't want to leave but the way it is now I probably will have to move into a little flat somewhere."
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