Flood housing scheme announced for Lismore - buybacks, house raising

Cathy Adams
Updated November 2 2022 - 9:53am, first published October 28 2022 - 12:34am

The Prime Minister and the NSW Premier have stood side by side in the front yard of a flood damaged home in North Lismore today, promising to deliver $800 million to help make homes safer for flood impacted residents on the Northern Rivers.

The $800 million housing package will help flood impacted residents of Lismore and the Northern Rivers move out of the flood zone, or make their homes more resilient.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Lismore to announce the the $800 million Northern Rivers Resilient Homes Fund package for those in the region impacted by flooding in February. Picture by Cathy Adams
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Lismore to announce the the $800 million Northern Rivers Resilient Homes Fund package for those in the region impacted by flooding in February. Picture by Cathy Adams

The scheme will offer buy backs to residents in the most flood prone areas "where major flooding would pose a catastrophic risk to life".

It will apply to about 2000 homes, and will be voluntary, people will not be forced to move.


  • Applications open on Monday, October 31.
  • 2000 homes part of scheme
  • $700 million funding shared for State and Federal projects
  • $520 million available for buybacks
  • $100 million to acquire flood free land for housing
  • up to $100,000 for house raising
  • or up to $50,000 for retrofitting
  • The first forum on the housing scheme will be held in Lismore on Friday, November 4.

The Resilient Homes Program will offer eligible homeowners one of the three available measures, based on expert property assessments, flood impact severity data, safety risks and potential future flood levels:

  • Home buybacks - the homeowner receives a payment for the purchase of their house and land, or
  • Home raising - funding is committed to elevate liveable areas above a property-specific flood level, or
  • Home retrofit - funding is committed to retrofit and/or repair liveable areas to improve the resilience of these areas for future floods.

These investments will be complemented by Resilient Land Program.

The funding will be available to residents in seven council areas - Lismore, Ballina, Byron, Richmond Valley, Kyogle, Tweed, and Clarence Valley.

Mr Albanese said: "We need to better on all levels of government. We need to better on planning, but we also need to do better than thinking we can do just the same thing over and over again, because we'll get the same results. That's why I'm so proud of the announcement today."

Mr Perrottet said all levels of government needed to work together to build more resilient communities

"The best thing we can do as governments... is work very closely together to provide that care and support for our communities."

He said the announcement will "provide people the opportunity to have their home relocated to a safer area. That will ensure that the generations to come, the great places like Lismore continue to be strong in future."

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said, "I knew we'd get there", and assured people there would be options to fit everyone.

She said there were more discussions to be had in the future about what to do with the flood plain, but today was "a landmark day" for Lismore and surrounds.

The New South Wales Government will provide $100 million to acquire land and open up new flood safe locations for future development, in partnership with the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation. The Corporation is currently conducting an expression of interest process to identify suitable parcels of land.

Eligible homeowners will be offered one of the three available measures, based on expert property assessments; flood impact severity data, safety risks, and potential future flood levels.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, said offers to individual homeowners will be based on extensive analysis of the 2022 floods and expert advice on any subsequent disasters.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to building back and this program offers multiple measures to help residents stay in the region in homes that can better withstand future floods," Mr Toole said.

NSW Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke, said the Resilient Homes Program complements the Resilient Land Program, which is identifying Northern Rivers' locations that could be considered for future developments.

"We want to ensure residents who do choose to move are able to relocate into areas where there is community infrastructure and amenities so that they can start their lives anew, not from scratch," Ms Cooke said.

The Flood Property Assessment Program provides a first point of entry, with registered homeowners automatically considered for the Resilient Homes Program.

Other homeowners can register their interest in the Resilient Homes Program by filling in the online registration form at https://www.nsw.gov.au/regional-nsw/northern-rivers-reconstruction-corporation/resilient-land-program

The NSW Government will contact eligible homeowners from mid-November onwards.

For detailed information about the program, including guidelines, eligibility and co-contributions, go to: www.nsw.gov.au/NRRC

Cathy Adams

Cathy Adams