First Northern Rivers housing pods arrive: Ballina Shire

Media release from NSW Government

Temporary housing solutions are now on the ground in the flood-affected Northern Rivers region, with the NSW Government’s first delivery being set up at the temporary accommodation site at Wollongbar.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the delivery of the first temporary housing site is an important step in providing medium term housing support.

“For many residents across the Northern Rivers returning home is simply not an option. Temporary housing will play a big role in providing the accommodation that’s desperately needed,” Mr Toole said.

“The Wollongbar site is located around 20 minutes from Lismore and Ballina and will have the capacity to house up to 220 people. In addition to smaller ‘pod’ style set ups, 30 caravans are in position.”

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery Steph Cooke said the NSW Government is doing everything possible to find housing solutions for flood-affected communities while they work to rebuild.

“Housing is one of the greatest challenges we face in the wake of the unprecedented flooding. Our priority is for everyone affected by this disaster to have access to safe housing while they rebuild and recover,” Ms Cooke said.

“Wherever possible we want to support people in getting back to their homes which is why it’s so important to have medium term housing solutions, like these pods, in place.

“Once the Wollongbar site is established and the connection of utilities is complete it will be handed over to housing provider, North Coast Community Housing, with the first accommodation to be allocated by early May.”

Minderoo Foundation Fire and Flood Resilience Lead Adrian Turner said it was crucial to continue to support communities with urgent relief, including temporary accommodation, and to build back stronger in the long-term.

“In partnership with the NSW Government and communities, the recovery pods were first developed to provide shelter for people who had lost their homes during the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires,” Mr Turner said.

We hope the pods will now provide help and hope to flood-affected communities and enable them to rebuild in the long-term.”

More than a dozen temporary accommodation sites are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.

The NSW Government is also working on longer-term housing solutions for flood-affected communities. The Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation has been created and tasked with coordinating planning, rebuilding and construction work of essential services, infrastructure and housing beyond the immediate response and recovery phase.

Flood-affected community members seeking housing support are urged to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88, visit nsw.gov.au/floods or speak to Recovery Centre staff.

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