Northern Rivers temporary housing
Temporary housing sites provide a safe and secure home while people affected by floods begin their recovery.
Temporary housing villages have been constructed in the Ballina, Byron, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed Shire areas.
Maintaining community connectedness is an important part of flood recovery.
Sites have been identified in partnership with local councils.
Site suitability and feasibility assessments were undertaken by the Department of Planning and Environment and found that each site was suitable for temporary housing. The assessments had similar considerations that would occur in the usual planning process, including:
- site availability for multi-year projects, with preference given to Council and government sites (Crown Land and surplus government sites)
- desktop analysis of constructability, including existing services connections, site slope, access and other considerations that may impact construction, such as easements
- safety, including flood and bushfire risk, site contamination
- access and proximity to where people were living before
- other considerations, such as biodiversity restrictions and Native Title claims.
About the villages
Housing villages host temporary modular homes (also called pods) and caravans. The sites include supporting infrastructure and amenities. They vary in size, depending on the land and available amenities.
Pods are stand-alone homes that range from studios to 4-bedrooms. Pods have their own internal facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom and washing machine. Some sites with caravans will have communal bathrooms and kitchen facilities to complement what is in each caravan.
Temporary homes are available for residents for up to 2 years. They include power and water costs during that time. For caravan residents, there may be some costs for waste management. All residents are responsible for their own internet expenses. Ask your community housing provider about any ongoing costs.
Local community housing providers (CHP) manage housing sites in partnership with the NSW Government, councils and local community groups.
How long will temporary housing sites be available?
Temporary housing villages will be available for residents for up to 2 years, with additional time needed for construction and decommissioning. The time spent in the village will depend on the housing needs of each resident while they find and settle back into long-term housing. This will allow time for rebuilding homes, moving, or finding a rental property.
A requirement of the leasing agreement for each site is that the site is rehabilitated to its prior use at the end of occupation, and as agreed with the landowner.
How are temporary pods allocated?
The allocation process is being managed by the relevant CHP and the NSW Government.
Due to high demand, pod villages in the Northern Rivers are currently at capacity. New applicant details will be collected as part of a waitlist should a pod become available in the future. The relevant CHP will contact you at this time.
Applicants must go through an assessment and eligibility process to access the program. You can choose a preferred site, but housing is allocated based on need, the type of household, and where you lived at the time of the floods.
All residents must sign an occupancy agreement before moving in. The agreement sets out the details for living in the home.
Temporary villages are managed by a community housing provider (CHP). The CHP is responsible for:
- the day-to-day management of the site
- resident allocations
- on-site security.
All residents will sign an occupancy agreement before moving into a village. This sets out appropriate behaviour and conduct for living in the temporary accommodation.
If someone is unable to comply with the terms of occupancy agreement, they may be required to leave the site.
Across all sites, the CHP works closely with local Recovery Support Services (RSS) to provide support for residents, including:
- mental and physical health
- financial support
- options for returning to a more permanent living situation.
All housing units are cleaned before residents move in. Residents are then responsible for all ongoing clean up of the housing unit, as it is their private home.
Applications for At-home caravan programs
The NSW Reconstruction Authority has partnered with local Recovery Support Services (RSS) to implement the At-home caravan program.
When applying to the program, residents will need to supply proof of ownership of the property where the caravan will be placed or permission from the owner to place the caravan on their property, together with photos to show where the caravan will be placed and the access route.
For further At-home caravan information and application forms, contact the local RSS for your area.
You can also read the At-Home Caravan program factsheet.At-home Caravan Program Factsheet (PDF 127.54KB)
How properties are assessed for the At-home caravan program
Not all properties are suitable for caravans. Properties will be assessed on criteria such as the size and slope, and available services.
If your property was assessed as unsuitable, you can submit further information to: