Voluntary House Raising Scheme

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The NSW State Government has announced the Resilient Homes Program. This program offers buybacks, house raising, and retrofit of homes impacted by the February 2022 floods.

Whilst Council’s VHP and VHR Schemes remain, Council recommends those impacted by the February 2022 floods and interested in buybacks, house raising or retrofitting register on the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation website.

Homeowner's responsibilities Express interest FAQs

The Tweed has many flood prone houses. The economic and social burden of flooding on the community can be reduced by raising these dwellings to increase their flood immunity.

Our Voluntary House Raising Scheme, which was approved by the NSW Government and started in 2020, aims to reduce flood damage to residential houses by raising the habitable floor level of individual dwellings.

Homeowner's responsibilities

The NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment provides two-thirds of the eligible cost of raising a house. The remaining one-third of the costs associated with house raising is funded by the homeowner.

The homeowner is responsible for project managing the raising of the house. This includes obtaining a detailed engineering design and specifications for raising the dwelling, preparing and submitting development application, seeking quotations, selecting and contracting a builder and any other necessary trades people.

We will provide advice throughout the project, however Tweed Shire Council is simply the grant fund administrator for this particular project. We do not do the house raising for you.

While there is a list of properties that are eligible for the current scheme, this list will not be published as it contains confidential and sensitive information.

To date, funding for the scheme has been very limited. However, we are currently receiving an unprecedented demand for the scheme after the February 2022 floods which was closely followed by a second flood event on March 2022. The existing Voluntary House Raising Scheme(PDF, 3MB) is being reviewed in light of the recent flood and we have requested additional funding from the NSW Government to accelerate and expand the scheme.

Express an interest

If you’re interested in the Voluntary House Raising Scheme, email your property and contact details to tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au or write to PO Box 816, Murwillumbah NSW 2484. Describe your flood experience including the level of flooding above floor experienced at your house.

Frequently asked questions

What is Voluntary House Raising Scheme?

The Voluntary House Raising Scheme is aimed at reducing flood damage to residential houses by raising the habitable floor level of individual dwellings to reduce the economic and social burden of flooding on the community and government. The scheme is a suitable management measure for houses in lower hazard areas of the floodplain.

The scheme is limited to dwellings that are structurally compatible with raising such as pier and beam homes, but not slab-on-ground masonry. The raising will include provision of engineered footings and piers, reconnection of services and extensions to accesses such as stairways. It also includes necessary development applications, fees, inspections and certification.

Funding does not extend to further renovations or improvements to the raised structure or money already spent on flood repairs.

The Voluntary House Raising Scheme is not an alternative to the Voluntary House Purchase Scheme and may not be offered in high hazard areas.

Who pays?

The NSW Government, through the Department of Planning and Environment, provides grants to Councils under the Floodplain Management Program for the Voluntary House Raising Scheme.

The NSW Government pays two-thirds of the program cost. The remaining one-third is paid for by the homeowner.

Voluntary house raising grant funding is paid to the homeowner in arrears upon submission of evidence of spending and confirmation of completion. The homeowner must be prepared to pay all expenses associated with the house raising upfront and then be reimbursed later.

Are businesses eligible for the scheme?

No. The scheme only applies to residential land containing an existing dwelling.

I am within the scheme area, is my house eligible?

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of houses located in high flood risk areas identified for the scheme. It is not possible to fund raising of all these houses.

Council, with the NSW Government, has completed a process to prioritise individual properties for voluntary house raising. These have undergone a community consultation process and have been adopted by the elected Council. These are summarised in the scheme(PDF, 3MB).

Will Council be expanding the scheme because of the February 2022 flood?

We have requested additional funding from the NSW Government to expand and accelerate the Voluntary House Raising Scheme in light of the recent record flooding.

We await a response and will inform those who have expressed interest of the outcome as soon as possible.

Read the media release for more information.

What are the timeframes?

Voluntary house raising is a long-term scheme. It may run, at varying speed, for many years depending on community demand and funding availability.

Who performs the house raising?

Once Council has entered into an agreement with a homeowner for voluntary house raising, the homeowner will be required to obtain 3 quotes from suitably qualified and licensed builders. The homeowner will then enter into a contract directly with the agreed builder to carry out the works.

What if I am outside of the scheme areas but was badly impacted by the March 2017 or February 2022 flood?

We review our Voluntary House Raising Scheme regularly, particularly following major floods.

You can still submit and expression of interest if you are not included in the current scheme. This will ensure you are considered for inclusion in any future expansion of the scheme.

The scheme is likely to take many years to implement. We will continue to update our flood studies and risk management plans and will consider adding other areas to the scheme outside of those nominated, such as Condong, Tumbulgum and the hinterland villages. This would require agreement from the NSW Government.

The areas identified to date are considered the highest priority for the scheme at this time.

What happens if I say ‘no’?

Participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary.

Should you change your mind in later years due to personal circumstances or further flood events, your property can be reassessed against the prioritised list of properties for available funding.

How do I apply?

There is no application process. Council identifies the priority list for the Voluntary House Raising Scheme and will contact homeowners directly to gauge interest in participating.

However, if you would like to lodge an expression of interest, email Council at tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au or write to PO Box 816, Murwillumbah NSW 2484. Please include your property and contact details.

How do I find out more?

Guidelines for Voluntary House Raising Scheme are available from the Department of Planning and Environment’s website.

Please email tsc@tweed.nsw.gov.au for more details.