ABOVE: Gail Graham surveys what is left of her Woodburn home. Photo: contributed
‘Our biggest challenge in the Northern Rivers is housing,” an NSW Government spokesperson said.
Since the floods on February 28, thousands of people are without homes in what was an already tight housing and rental market.
The flood damage took its toll and now people are seeking temporary housing while they repair their homes.
The NSW Government said it was currently supporting around 1,500 people in hotels and motels, 330 people in sporting and recreation camps and 124 households in campervans.
In addition, there is a 16-week rental assistance grant on offer.
The spokesperson said temporary accommodation pods will be rolled out in the coming weeks.
It can’t happen soon enough. It has been 36 days since the first flood with the second flood, only days ago, causing further despair and damage.
The State Government reported the property assessments that have been undertaken so far.
Richmond Valley properties:
In Richmond Valley, the SES has done 2,331 property assessments finding 1,170 damaged buildings and 471 not habitable (not all of these buildings are homes).
Kyogle LGA properties:
The SES has done 317 property assessments, with 65 damaged buildings and 14 not habitable (not all of these buildings are homes).
Grant applications received are assessed against the grant eligibility criteria.
In some cases, more information is required from customers to progress assessment. Once approved, funds are paid as soon as possible, generally within three to six business days.
Service NSW has received 199 Flood Disaster Recovery grant applications from the Richmond Valley LGA.
Of these, 150 are in progress, with 29 deemed ineligible.
A total of 17 applications, with a combined total of $262,459 has been paid and a further three applications have been approved for payment.
Service NSW received 146 Rental Support payment applications from the Richmond Valley LGA.
Of these, 73 are in progress and 10 have been deemed ineligible.
A total of 52 applications, with a total of $541,200 have been paid and a further 11 applications have been approved to be paid.
Service NSW has received 36 Flood Disaster Recovery grant applications from the Kyogle LGA.
Of these, 26 are in progress with eight deemed ineligible.
Two applications, with a combined total of $10,180, have been paid.
Service NSW has received 11 Rental Support payment applications from the Kyogle LGA, nine are in progress and one has been deemed ineligible.
One application of $15,200 has been paid.
While the flood disaster is not an easy situation, the pay outs seem awfully slow to reach the people who need them most.
If you have applied for a grant or rental help, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org