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Flood-proof homes deal ‘signals progress in Lismore rebuild’ 

More than 400 flood-proof homes will be built in Lismore under a deal between Southern Cross University and the NSW reconstruction agency.

The university will provide 72 hectares for the homes, which are expected to be ready in 2026. The site is above the probable maximum flood level.

The State Government says at least 20% of properties will be affordable housing, with some used to relocate residents from flood-affected areas. 

It will be the first project delivered by the $100 million Resilient Lands Program, with state agency Landcom declaring a $60 million investment for infrastructure development.

The NSW Reconstruction Authority will provide an additional $15 million to prioritise participants of the federal and state governments’ $700 million Resilient Homes Program in buying new land and homes before it is put to the broader market.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has thanked the university for the deal, saying it represents “the Lismore community working together at its best”.

“There has been a lot of work done but we acknowledge that it has been a long wait for Northern Rivers communities to access safer land and housing options,” he said. “This is something the Northern Rivers community has been waiting for and [this] is an important step in their recovery.”  

Lismore Mayor Steve Krieg says the project provides an “important social and economic boost” for the community after it was devastated by floods in 2022.  

“Two years on from the disaster that had such a profound impact on our lives, we can now genuinely feel that progress is being made in the recovery and rebuild of Lismore,” Cr Krieg said.  

“We can now provide tangible, viable housing opportunities for our residents to be able to relocate from the floodplain and stay in the city that we all work and live in.”

The Insurance Council of Australia says the agreement is “another step forward” for the flood-hit community but “more needs to be done” to support buyback and home retrofitting programs.  

“For some time, the [Insurance Council] and insurers have called for action to better protect at-risk communities, and our pre-budget submission calls for an ongoing fund to assist existing homes facing extreme flooding risks.”