The NSW Government is celebrating milestones in a major flood disaster adaptation project.

The Home Raising and Home Retrofit stream, part of the state’s $790 million Resilient Homes Program, has identified approximately 370 homeowners as eligible for home raising or retrofitting. 

These measures, recommended by the NSW Flood Inquiry, aim to reduce flood-related damage by either elevating homes or refurbishing them to better withstand flooding.

The NSW Reconstruction Authority (RA) is collaborating with James Davidson, an architect in flood-resilient design from JDA Co, to implement the program. 

Homeowners who receive a free in-home assessment report can select a builder to carry out the necessary resilience work. 

The program offers grants up to $50,000 for home retrofits and $100,000 for home raises, with a dollar-for-dollar co-contribution between the RA and homeowners, capped at $100,000 for retrofits and $200,000 for home raising.

Additionally, the North Lismore development has been announced as the latest site under the $100 million Resilient Lands Program, providing around 85 new home sites. 

This follows previous announcements in East Lismore, Goonellabah, Brunswick Heads, Casino, and Lennox Head, with over 2,800 housing sites now in the planning pipeline across the Northern Rivers. 

The North Lismore project will be developed in consultation with the community, considering environmental, biodiversity, and cultural significance.

To support primary producers, the Northern Rivers Agricultural Drainage Reset Program, with a $5 million budget, is repairing and cleaning up to 100 drains that are crucial for agricultural properties. 

Vegetation build-up in large drains has hindered their ability to channel water away from the land, posing a serious problem. 

This program, delivered by the RA in partnership with the Soil Conservation Service and local councils, aims to enhance long-term resilience for farmers and communities.

Lismore Mayor, Steve Krieg, welcomed the initiatives.

“I welcome the announcement on North Lismore that will allow disaster-affected families to build new houses or relocate their existing timber home. The commencement of the Raise and Retrofit program will also be very welcomed by the community,” he said.