The Commonwealth and NSW governments have confirmed Back Home grant eligibility will be extended to those hit by floods over June and July.
According to a statement released by the federal government, the Back Home grant will be made available to impacted renters, landlords and home owners across 17 local government areas (LGAs) throughout the Hunter, Illawarra and Greater Sydney regions.
These LGAs include Blacktown, Camden, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Liverpool, Maitland, MidCoast, Penrith, Port Stephens, Singleton, Sutherland, The Hills and Wollongong.
Under the grant scheme, households that were declared to be damaged or destroyed over the NSW floods over June and July will be eligible for financial assistance.
It’s expected that both the NSW and Commonwealth governments will spend $47 million on this support measure.
Owner-occupiers can receive the maximum amount of $20,000, while investors are eligible for $15,000.
Tenants are also included in the measure, offered up to $5,000.
Low-income earners who are successful in the Disaster Relief Grant are unable to apply for the Back Home grant.
The Commonwealth government has said these grants can “go towards any clean up costs to restore housing to a habitable condition”.
This includes the inspection and safe reconnection of electrical, gas, water, hot water and sewerage equipment, the necessary replacement or repair to damaged essential household goods and equipment, and the completion of any necessary structural repairs.
The funds can also be used by tenants to relocate to a new property.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese commented that his government will be one “that works across all levels of government, with all organisations and communities to provide the support to those affected by natural disasters”.
“We know recovery is a long road ahead and we stand with the New South Wales government in helping victims of the recent devastating floods get their lives back on track,” Mr Albanese said.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that whether a home needs electricity reconnected or structural repairs, “this fund provides cash support to ensure this can happen fast”.
“It also makes up to $5,000 available for the replacement of essential household items such as beds or kitchen equipment,” Mr Perrottet said.
Federal Minister for Emergency Management senator, Murray Watt, added that the priority is “to get people and families affected by floods back into a safe and dry home as quickly as possible”.
“This program will help their homes to become habitable again by contributing to the cost of replacing appliances, reconnecting utilities, fixing roofs, connecting electricity and making other necessary repairs,” Mr Watt said.
Last month, both the federal and NSW governments confirmed it would invest roughly $80 million to assist with the clean-up of flood and storm-related damage during this flood period, as well as $36 million in property assessments and free demolition.