Resilient Homes Program

The Resilient Homes Program is providing assistance to homeowners to improve the flood-resilience of residential properties in the Northern Rivers.

A flood damaged home with a fence around it showing NSW Government signage

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Recovery is a long and difficult process. Each person and community progress through their recovery at different speeds. Support services can be found on the Healthy North Coast wesbite

Should you require free, confidential one to one support, please contact Lifelife: 24 hour support is available on 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online.

If you have been affected by floods, Recovery Support Services (RSS) (PDF 216.57KB) are available to you. You will be linked with a recovery support worker who can help you access disaster assistance packages. Support in your region can be found in the fact sheets

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Program criteria

How homes are prioritised

Flood mapping and analysis will support the Resilient Homes Program.  

The flood mapping and analysis indicates specific areas across the Northern Rivers which pose the greatest risk to life in most floods. This information is used to prioritise homes.  

Homeowners will be assessed against eligibility and risk criteria for assistance under the Resilient Homes Program. 

Who can apply

The following eligibility criteria must be met: 

  • the applicant must be the registered homeowner (owner-occupied or landlord) of a residential dwelling in the Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley or Tweed LGAs currently and immediately prior to the flood event (22 February 2022), and 
  • the residential dwelling was directly damaged by either flood waters in the Flood Event or landslip caused by the flood event, and  
  • the residential dwelling:
    • was used primarily for residential accommodation
    • was not a moveable dwelling (other than a manufactured home that is privately owned by an individual)
    • was not a tourist and visitor accommodation, and
    • is not operated for commercial or business purposes where the use is not for housing (for example, a caravan park, hotel, motel).

To qualify for assistance, the homeowner or the residential dwelling must also meet at least one of the following risk criteria: 

  • Home Buyback stream – the residence is classified under the Resilient Homes Program as being at ‘severe risk’ or a decision is made that the homeowner should qualify because of ‘individual circumstance’ or ‘exceptional circumstance’ (through an appeals claim), or 
  • Home Raising stream – the residence is classified under the Resilient Homes Program as being at ‘moderate risk’ or a decision is made that the homeowner should qualify because of ‘individual circumstance’ or ‘exceptional circumstance’ (through an appeals claim) 
  • Home Retrofit stream – the residence is classified under the Resilient Homes Program as being at ‘likely risk’ or a decision is made that the homeowner should qualify because of ‘individual circumstance’ or ‘exceptional circumstance’ (through an appeals claim).  

For more information, please read the Resilient Homes Program Guideline 

Properties and locations not prioritised for the Resilient Homes Program

The criteria used to determine properties and locations that are not prioritised for this program are:

  • properties that are not located within the seven affected local government areas in the Northern Rivers 
  • property’s primary purpose is business, commercial, primary producing 
  • caravan parks 
  • properties over 5 hectares  
  • properties valued over two million dollars.  
Prioritisation review

In the aftermath of the devastating floods in the Northern Rivers in 2022, the NSW Government and Australian Government established the Resilient Homes Program.

As part of the Program, homes were prioritised for either buybacks, raisings or retrofits. This included prioritising buybacks for homes at the greatest risk under most future flood scenarios. This approach was developed by floodplain management and economic specialists and used the most recent flood information available at the time.

Independent review

In 2023, as part of a recovery reset and after feedback from the community, the Reconstruction Authority established an expert Peer Review Panel to review the original approach.

The independent Peer Review Panel included:

  • Steven Molino, Director, Water Technology Pty Ltd
  • Andrew Gissing, Chief Executive Officer, Natural Hazards Research Australia
  • Professor Seth Westra, Director, University of Adelaide Water Research Centre.

The expert panel undertook their review in late 2023, and the full report detailing their findings can be found here (PDF 547.03KB).

Review findings and recommendations

Overall, the Panel found that:

  • The Resilient Homes Program is using the best available flood and floor level data
  • The risk assessment methodology is logical and generally aligned with recommended risk assessment principles
  • The methodology identifies homes for buyback that have the greatest physical risk to buildings and their occupants
  • The methodology identifies homes that would benefit from raising or retrofits.

The Panel identified 25 specific recommendations in their report to help improve the risk assessment, prioritisation process and reporting for the Resilient Homes Program. These include:

  • Further analysis to identify whether factors such as flood timing, overland flow and flash flooding, warning availability and climate change would change prioritisation
  • Further analysis to identify if house raising will increase risk to life and property in some locations, and measures to avoid house raising in these areas
  • Better documenting the reasoning behind particular decisions
  • More clearly explaining eligibility for the program streams (i.e. Home Buyback, Home Raising and Home Retrofit)
  • Establishing a framework to continuously monitor and evaluate the program’s implementation
  • Develop principles to ensure Resilient Homes Program continues to be based on best available information.

The report also noted that vulnerability is an important factor and should continue to be considered on a case by case basis.

Response to the review findings

The Reconstruction Authority has committed to accepting all recommendations of the report and to immediately broaden the eligibility criteria for the Resilient Homes Program.

Individual circumstances such as social vulnerability, will now be considered at the beginning alongside the flood risk, using the criteria in line with the Appeal Policy process.

This change will support vulnerable homeowners who are experiencing exceptional circumstances. It also aims to reduce the fragmented nature of buybacks in some locations.

Homeowners who are dissatisfied with a Resilient Homes Program decision can request an internal review or lodge an appeal. Information about this process can be found here.

The application process

What information is asked for in your application

The Resilient Homes Program commenced customer outreach from November 2022. 

From Monday 4 September 2023 if you apply for the Flood Property Assessment Program (FPAP) or Disaster Relief Grant (DRG) and have not applied for the Resilient Homes Program, you will need to complete a separate registration for the Resilient Homes Program.  

If you were engaged in the FPAP or DRG programs before Monday 4 September 2023 you will be contacted automatically and do not need to complete a registration for the Resilient Homes Program. 

Please note your eligibility under the Resilient Homes Program is not affected by your participation in the Flood Property Assessment Program. 




Complete the online application form on the Resilient Homes Program website.



A member of our team will contact you to discuss what’s involved and connect you with a case manager if you need one. They will talk to you about your property that was damaged by the February and March 2022 flood event.


Information collection

If you have started an application form but need assistance in completing it, including uploading documents, our case managers can help you do this. You can make an appointment or drop into one of our pop-up locations (PDF 216.57KB) or call us on 1800 844 085.

Please compile these supporting documents to attach to the form:  

  • photo ID for each homeowner (for sighting by a case manager)
  • insurance policies from the time of the flood, if relevant
  • copies of leases or tenancy agreements, if relevant
  • details of insurance payouts or declined payouts after the flood, if relevant
  • photos of the property before and after the flood
  • receipts for any renovations done after the flood
  • evidence of name changes since you purchased the property, if relevant.

Note: As part of the application process, the NRRC will store and protect personal information until no longer required, and may share information with partner agencies as part of the course and delivery of work. 

The NRRC and NSW Government Agencies must comply with the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 and Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002, which regulate the storage, use and disclosure of personal information held by Government Agencies. 

Start the application       
Start the application

After the application is submitted

Once you have submitted your application, the NSW Reconstruction Authority will review your application and contact you through your preferred contact method with the outcome of your prioritisation.  

Assessment process

Indicatively Prioritised homeowners will be contacted by a case manager who will engage with homeowners at various stages of the assessment process and:  

  • advise what their indicative prioritisation is, i.e. Home Buyback, Home Raising or Retrofit 
  • advise what the assessment process considers 
  • take this opportunity to gather any additional information that the homeowner may not have submitted at the time of their application 
  • arrange an appointment for a home visit to undertake an inspection at the homeowner’s property/s if required.  

Valuation assessment

A home visit will facilitate either: 

  • a home valuation by an independent valuer appointed by the NSW Reconstruction Authority (if the property may be suitable for the Home Buyback stream) or 
  • a home assessment by the NSW Reconstruction Authority (if the property may be suitable for either the Home Raising or Home Retrofit stream).  

A Case Manager will attend alongside a valuer. At this time required identification checks will be completed. 

A valuation is another form of assessment and does not guarantee a Home Buyback offer. However, a valuation is required to inform the letter of offer. 

Note: A home visit may not be required for homeowners who have already received a Home Assessment under the Flood Property Assessment Program (FPAP) or Disaster Relief Grant (DRG). The information compiled in these assessments is provided to the NSW Reconstruction Authority for consideration. 

Outcome advised

Assessments will be reviewed and approved by the Resilient Homes Program Approval Panel prior to the homeowner receiving an offer.

Prioritised homeowners will receive an offer for either:

  1. Home Buyback stream - a buyback of the property where the homeowner receives payment for the purchase of the property, or 
  2. Home Raising stream - a grant payment up to $100,000 (GST inclusive) towards the cost of elevating the liveable areas of the property and associated works, or 
  3. Home Retrofit stream - a grant payment up to $50,000 (GST inclusive) towards the cost of retrofitting and/or repair work on the property to incorporate flood resilient design and materials in eligible areas.

Under the Home Raising and Home Retrofit streams homeowners are also able to opt-in to a co-contribution arrangement with the NSW Reconstruction Authority if the cost estimate of works is more than the grant value. In this scenario, the NSW Reconstruction Authority will match financial contributions provided by the homeowner (co-contribution) up to a maximum 100 per cent of the available grant value.

Seeking an internal review or appeal

To find out the circumstances where a homeowner can seek an internal review or appeal, visit internal review and appeals.

Occupancy Arrangement 

In recognition of the challenges faced by property owners in the Northern Rivers, the RA is providing an occupancy arrangement, in certain circumstances.

For homeowners

Homeowners undergoing a buyback under the RHP may be eligible to enter into an occupancy arrangement. 

This arrangement will allow homeowners who meet certain eligibility criteria to legally occupy the home, following settlement, for a period of up to 12 months.

Homeowners should contact their Case Manager or the Resilient Homes Program team on 1800 844 085 or and refer to the factsheet (PDF 272.74KB) for further information. 

For tenants/other occupants

Tenants or other occupants of a Buyback property may also be eligible for an occupancy arrangement if they meet certain eligibility criteria, for a period of up to 6 months.

Tenants can contact the Resilient Homes Program team on 1800 844 085 or and refer to the factsheet (PDF 272.74KB) for further information and to confirm eligibility requirements.

Responding to an offer

Once the offer is made, a homeowner has 90 days to consider their offer. Homeowners will then have the following options:

Accept the offer

  • Homeowners must sign and return an accepted signed letter of offer and any other paperwork.
  • Acceptance will activate the process of agreeing a contract for the applicable stream (i.e., a contract for sale of the property under the Home Buyback stream, or a funding for grants of works contract under the Home Raising stream or the Home Retrofit stream, plus any other documents which are needed).  The Scope of Works Agreements/Purchase Contract will set out the scope of works (if applicable) and the terms and conditions under which the funding for grant of works package will be provided.

Reject the offer

  • Homeowners must sign and return a rejected letter of offer.
  • Rejection of an offer is not legally binding.

Note: Not returning a letter of offer after 90 days is automatically deemed as a rejected offer asper the provisions outlined in the letter of offer.

Request an internal review OR appeal Decision 2, 3 or 4

Decisions for which homeowners can seek an internal review or appeal:

  • Homeowners must advise their case manager what path they would like to undertake, i.e., an internal review or appeal.
  • The Case Manager will link the appropriate form to the Homeowners application via Smarty Grants for the homeowner to complete and submit.

Request an extension to consider their offer

  • Homeowners must provide in writing extenuating circumstances as to why 90 days was not sufficient time to consider their letter of offer. (This must be approved by an executive).
  • Seeking an internal review or appeal is not grounds for an extension.

For non prioritised homeowners

Non prioritised homeowners who have been notified by a phone call and in writing can:

Internal review and appeals

Homeowners who are dissatisfied with a Resilient Homes Program decision can request an internal review or lodge an appeal. 

This must be done within 90 days of receiving written notice of that decision, or, if a homeowner is submitting an appeal following an internal review, this must be submitted within 30 days of receiving writing notice of the internal review decision.

Visit Internal review and appeals

Information for tenants

If you are a tenant living in a home that is prioritised for a home buyback under the Resilient Homes Program, information for tenants is available.

Support and contact 

For assistance, contact one of our case managers via email or phone 1800 844 085. You can also visit one of our pop-up locations.

Complaints process

The NSW Reconstruction Authority will ensure complaints are promptly and properly dealt with.

We are committed to responding to external complaints fairly, efficiently and effectively. Our external complaint management system is designed to:

  • enable NSW Reconstruction Authority to respond to issues raised by people making complaints in a timely and effective way
  • strengthen accountability
  • enhance public confidence in our administrative processes
  • provide information that can be used by NSW Reconstruction Authority to deliver quality improvements in our services.

Please contact us to make a complaint.

NSW Ombudsman

If you disagree with an internal review or appeal decision, you can contact the NSW Ombudsman an independent and impartial, integrity body that considers whether an agency’s administrative conduct is wrong, unlawful, unfair or unreasonable.  More information on how to contact the NSW Ombudsman and the types of complaints they handle can be found at

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