The Flood Property Assessment Program
If your residential or commercial property was impacted by the February and March 2022 floods, you can register to have a condition assessment carried out by certified inspectors.
Northern Rivers flood grant support sessions
Get 1 on 1 support for flood grant applications. Support sessions will be held in Ballina from:
- Wednesday 27 July to Friday 29 July
- Monday 1 August to Wednesday 3 August.
Make a booking by calling Service NSW on 13 77 88
If you require translation services, please call the Translation and Interpreter Service on 131 450
What is the Flood Property Assessment Program?
The NSW and Australian governments are jointly covering the condition assessment of flood-affected insured and uninsured residential and eligible commercial properties (small business and primary production). Where this assessment finds the property to be unsafe or beyond economical repair, demolition will be provided at no cost to the property owner. This will allow property owners and small business owners to focus on rebuilding their homes and businesses.
The Flood Property Assessment Program is an opt-in program for property owners whose homes were damaged by the 2022 floods. If the home is deemed beyond economic repair, they can have it demolished at no cost.
The program will be administered by the Department of Regional NSW through the NSW Public Works Advisory. It will:
- provide free property condition assessments conducted by certified inspectors
- undertake the demolition and removal of waste for those properties found to be beyond repair.
Property owners or tenants can register as many properties as necessary. Each property requires a separate application.
For further information, call the program hotline on 1300 294 027.
You do not need to register if you previously completed the notification form on the Service NSW website. You are considered ‘registered’ and will be contacted by a case manager.
Am I eligible?
Property owners and tenants are eligible to register for the program so long as the property:
- is located in one of the
- was damaged (or may have been damaged) by the recent severe weather and floods, and
- is a home, apartment, apartment building, business premises or primary production.
What property types are eligible?
Property types eligible under the Flood Property Assessment Program include:
- residential properties (where the residence has been affected by flood water)
- small businesses (buildings used for primary business operation)
- rural properties.
The types of structures that are included, if uninhabitable or unusable, are:
- farm homesteads
- buildings on commercial properties used for primary business operation
- commercial properties, including shops and tourism-related businesses, owned by small businesses or primary producers.
Demolition works can also include the following structures, only if they are associated with the above building types:
- garages/sheds and outbuildings that are uninhabitable or unusable and within the vicinity of the primary residence or business operation on a property, subject to individual site assessment
- farm sheds and outbuildings, subject to the same criteria as garages/sheds.
What building types are excluded?
Building types that will not be eligible under the program include:
- anything not within the property boundary unless required to safely access the property for demolition works
- trees (except where trees and stumps are identified as flood affected and present an obstacle or safety impact to carry out clean-up of eligible destroyed or damaged building structures on the property)
- landscaping, retaining walls and driveways
- in-ground swimming pools, spas and associated pool deck and pool fencing
- irrigation pumps and equipment
- tennis courts, basketball courts and other private sport facilities
- fences not in the vicinity of destroyed or damaged buildings except where required to safely undertake clean-up works
- rural fences
- septic tanks, unless they present a safety issue. Nature of the works to remove or make safe will be subject to individual on site assessments
- private power poles and bridges
- tyre dumps
- private museums / collections which require storage outside the primary residence
- state or national listed Heritage buildings or properties – until such time that appropriate consideration is given to treatment of any remaining or intact.
How did the NSW Government identify the eligible Local Government Areas?
The activities of the Flood Property Assessment Program will be limited to eligible properties in local government areas that have had a natural disaster declaration outlined in AGRN 1012.
The program is focused on residential and commercial properties where flood waters have caused damage and an assessment is needed to determine if repairs or demolition are required.
What happens after I register for the program?
A case manager will contact property owners within 24 hours of registering with Service NSW to schedule an initial property assessment. Applicants will be assigned their own case manager who will be available to answer questions at any stage of the process.
When will my property be inspected?
Case managers will provide property owners with a number of available dates and times in order for their properties to be inspected as soon as possible.
Tenants will need consent from the property owner before an assessment can be scheduled, unless there is an immediate health, safety or environmental risk.
Can I attend the inspection?
Yes. It’s preferred that the property owner is there during the inspection.
The inspection can be a difficult process and property owners might decide to bring a support person with them. Where possible, case managers can arrange for a support person to be present during the allocated inspection time.
Will the inspection follow COVID Safe requirements?
Yes. Everyone attending the onsite inspections will follow current COVID Safe requirements.
All Johns Lyng employees conducting the inspections are fully vaccinated, take regular Rapid Antigen Tests and, where asked by the property owner, will wear a facemask during the inspection.
Can I get additional support during the process?
Yes. Advise Johns Lyng of any additional support you require. The Johns Lyng case managers are trained and equipped to support customers experiencing vulnerability and will prioritise customers who need extra support.
When required, case managers will connect applicants with the relevant support services.
What happens after the inspection?
Following the initial inspection:
- where the property can be repaired, a scope of repair works will be issued to the owner
- where the assessment indicates to the owner that repairs are beyond their financial capacity, the owner may elect to have the property demolished through this program
- where an occupied property is deemed unsafe, it will need to be vacated
- any displaced residents will be connected with temporary accommodation support, if required.
- contractors will contact owners who have registered for clean-up to discuss when work will begin, with priority given to properties with known hazardous materials, such as asbestos
- any hazardous materials will be removed and properly disposed of
- contractors will clear all dangerous debris from the property, including destroyed material and hazardous trees
- contractors will remove concrete slab foundations where building owners agree
- contractors will notify owners that their property has been cleared and that rebuilding can commence
- in some circumstances, properties may require a second inspection by a structural engineer.
What if I can’t afford the recommended repairs?
Individuals requiring financial assistance to restore their homes to a safe and habitable condition may be eligible to apply for a Disaster Relief Grant or a Back Home Grant to help fund repairs identified through the Flood Property Assessment Program.
The Disaster Relief Grant, which provides uncapped financial support to low-income earners impacted by a disaster, is administered by Resilience NSW.
The Disaster Relief Grant is not a flat amount, is means tested and can differ depending on personal circumstances. If eligible for the grant, the Johns Lyng Group will arrange essential functional repairs to a property, including kitchen and bathroom repairs. Essential repairs do not include the replacement of carpet or other decorative parts of a property.
Individuals can discuss their eligibility with Service NSW by calling 13 77 88 or by visiting a Flood Recovery Centre.
If you are not eligible for a Disaster Relief Grant, you may be be able to apply for a Back Home Grant.
Who has been appointed to conduct property assessments and provide demolition services?
Johns Lyng Group has been appointed as the Managing Contractor and will provide the qualified assessors and demolition services necessary to deliver the program as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Why was Johns Lyng appointed rather than multiple contractors?
Johns Lyng Group is Australia’s largest integrated disaster recovery and building services provider.
Johns Lyng has led recovery and repair efforts for some of the most significant natural disasters in Australia and has the expertise and equipment needed to do the job quickly, at scale and safely.
Appointing more than one managing contractor would not speed up clean-up operations.
What if I don’t agree with the recommendation provided by the building inspector?
If a property owner or tenant doesn’t agree with the recommendation of the building inspector or structural engineer, they can request to have it reviewed by calling 1300 294 027.
The review will be conducted by an independent expert.
Can I use an assessment carried out by the NSW State Emergency Service?
No. Property assessments conducted by the NSW State Emergency Service were carried out to ensure that properties were deemed safe to enter during the initial stage of the flood clean-up, which involved clearing out residential and commercial properties.
These initial assessments give an indication of the extent of damaged buildings, however don’t provide the level of detail required to determine the structural integrity of a building and the ability to remediate in order to return to a habitable state.
Assessments under the Flood Property Assessment Program will be conducted by a qualified building assessor and provide owners with informed advice on the condition of their property and will include an indicative scope for repairs.
How does this program relate to the Back Home Grant?
The Flood Property Assessment Program is an opt-in support measure providing a free property assessment, with demolition available for properties that are beyond economic repair.
The Back Home grant can then be used to complete the scope of works provided during the assessment or put towards the costs of establishing a new home. You do not need to have opted-in to the Flood Property Assessment Program to access the Back Home Grants.
The Back Home Grant is administered by Service NSW.