Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles has deemed the new state and federally funded flood assistance package the “largest household resilience program” in Australian history.
Tagged the Resilient Homes Fund, those affected by the flooding throughout Queensland can apply now for part of the $741 million on offer.
The fund allows Queenslanders whose homes were damaged by floods to access grants to raise, repair, retrofit, or have their home voluntarily bought back.
Find out if you’re eligible, how much money you might be able to access, and how you can use the funds below.
The fund was launched in the wake of February’s flood disaster in south-east Queensland but isn’t confined to those affected in that event.
Home owners across 37 local government areas impacted by flooding in any of the following weather events are eligible for the scheme:
The Resilient Homes Fund is broken down into three areas of funding for home owners: rebuilding and retrofitting homes, raising homes, and buying-back homes.
Grants of up to an estimated $50,000 will be available to retrofit and rebuild 5,500 eligible flood-affected homes. This could involve using flood resilient materials, moving power outlets above previous flood levels to maintain power through inundation, and changing the design of the home for better water flow.
Grants of up to an estimated $100,000 will be available to 1,000 eligible flood-affected homes. This may involve lifting living areas and rooms above a recognised flood level to prevent inundation.
Up to an estimated $350 million will be dedicated to voluntary buybacks of up to 500 homes. These homes will likely have been deemed unsuitable to raise or retrofit.
Buybacks will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and will take into account things like frequency and severity of flooding, future flood risk, and the structural safety of the home.
Queensland Reconstruction Authority chief executive Brendan Moon said people who think they’re eligible for the program must register online.
“What is it they need to support their recovery here? Is it a retrofit, is it a home raising or are they asking us to consider a buyback?” Mr Moon said.
“What’s important in this registration of interest process is it will allow us to get an understanding of where peoples’ recovery is at and what is important for them in their own region.
“Each community’s needs are very different and this registration of interest process will allow us to better understand that and it will guide the completion of the guidelines so that we can actually tailor the program to deal with those more vulnerable and those with the greatest flood risk.”
Government officials stressed the money available will not be handed out to flood victims. Each case will be assessed uniquely and the size of the grants will be tailored to the needs of the property. The money will then be used to fund government-contracted tradespeople to complete the works.
Mr Moon said voluntary buybacks will follow the process used in the 2011 floods.
“It will require an independent valuation of the property and where agreement can be reached, there’ll be a transaction. The home will be demolished and also the land we are looking to rezone not for future urban habitation.”
In the wake of the February flood disaster, Structural Assistance Grants were hiked from $14,684 to $50,000, at a cost of $38 million.
These grants are available to the same properties affected by the three flood events listed earlier in the article regarding the Resilient Homes Fund.
The Structural Assistance Grant is income tested and has a number of eligibility requirements.
For my information, head here.
If you think you might be eligible for the Resilient Homes Fund and want to register, or simply want more information, head to this website.