Details of the first block of land as part of the Resilient Land Program have been released, providing over 400 homes to Lismore.
The NSW Government is today announcing a partnership between Southern Cross University, Landcom and the NSW Reconstruction Authority which will unlock a parcel of university land for housing development to tackle the housing crisis in the Northern Rivers and support flood affected residents.
SCU, Landcom and the NSW Reconstruction Authority have signed a 'Heads of Agreement' to deliver over 400 dwellings in East Lismore.
Importantly, at least 20 per cent will be set aside for affordable housing, while a number of the serviced lots will be made suitable for the relocation of existing homes from flood affected areas.
Southern Cross University, an integral part of the Lismore community, has made 72 hectares of university land available for the development.
NSW Premier Chris Minns acknowledged it has been a long wait for Northern Rivers communities to access safer land and housing options.
He said the project was an example of the Lismore community working together at its best.
"I want to offer a big thank you to Southern Cross University for working with us to increase much needed land supply for housing in Lismore.
"This is something the Northern Rivers community has been waiting for and today is an important step in their recovery.
"We look forward to working with them to create a new place for people to call home.
"There is a lot more that we need to do but this is an important step in the community's recovery process."
Parliamentary Secretary for Disaster Recovery, Lismore MP, Janelle Saffin said "this landmark housing agreement gives heart and hope, and homes, to our communities".
"Today's most welcome announcement makes real our rebuild and recovery, giving a great lift to our economic and social recovery," Ms Saffin said.
"It supports flood impacted residents including those who want to relocate their homes-allows locals to stay in Lismore and is the first with more to come across the Northern Rivers."
The development will include a diverse mix of low- and medium-density housing, including serviced lots, and low-rise multi-dwellings.
NSW Government agency Landcom will invest $60 million to develop the site, this includes providing the infrastructure for development such as new roads, power, water, and sewerage connections.
An additional $15 million contribution from the NSW Reconstruction Authority will enable participants from the Commonwealth and State funded Resilient Homes Program to be given priority access to purchase the new land and housing before it is offered to the broader market.
The development is also the first major project to be delivered under the Government's $100 million Resilient Lands Program.
During the 2022 floods and in the aftermath, the university played a pivotal role in the region's recovery, housing schools, community services and undertaking research focused on adaptation and renewal.
Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin said they were proud to help in the recovery process.
"East Lismore is close to the university, close to the CBD, and close to shops, sporting facilities, schools and other community infrastructure - so it's the ideal location for a development such as this. I look forward to seeing this land opened up, and to welcoming hundreds of residents, including families, students, and university staff," he said.
Detailed design and planning work and developing a formal commercial agreement will now start.
Mayor of Lismore City Council Steve Krieg said it was an important social and economic boost for the city of Lismore.
"We can now provide tangible, viable housing opportunities for our residents to be able to relocate from the floodplain, and stay in the city that we all work and live in," Cr Krieg said.
"Two years on from the disaster that had such a profound impact on our lives, we can now genuinely feel that progress is being made in the recovery and rebuild of Lismore."
This will confirm details on how Resilient Homes Program participants will be able to secure new land and housing under the project, and which areas of the development will be suitable for relocated homes.
Resilient Lands Program includes a range of projects across the Northern Rivers region to supply new land and housing in the region to provide participants of the Resilient Homes Program with more options to relocate from the highest risk areas of the flood plain.
A Registration of Interest process for the Resilient Lands Program is available for eligible RHP participants. The NSW Reconstruction Authority has established a concierge service to guide people through the process.
The $700 million Resilient Homes Program and the $100 million Resilient Lands Program are the largest projects of their kind in Australia and were announced in response to one of the nation's worst ever flood disasters.
Landcom will commence early enabling works on the East Lismore development site later this year, subject to approvals. It is expected that land and housing will be available for sale from 2026.
The Southern Cross University site is above the above the probable maximum flood level.