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Byron Shire
May 20, 2022

Emergency housing at Wollongbar getting close

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Wollongbar housing pods under construction. Photo David Lowe.

Temporary housing for flood-affected people is almost ready for the first occupants at Wollongbar, near Alstonville, in Ballina Shire.

Pod accommodation plus a large number of caravans can be seen from the air at the Wollongbar sports fields.

A Resilience NSW spokesperson told The Echo, ‘The NSW Government has committed to assisting around 25,000 households as part of the broader housing response in the flood recovery effort including rental support, disaster relief programs and the Back Home program.

‘A primary focus is to get people safely back into their own homes as quickly as possible, but many will need temporary accommodation in the short to medium term.

‘Temporary housing sites with modular homes and caravans, including the site in Wollongbar, are designed to provide medium-term temporary accommodation for flood-affected residents across the Northern Rivers.

‘People with housing needs will be able to live in the sites as they work to secure long-term and permanent housing options, whether it be rebuilding their homes, moving, or sourcing a rental,’ said the Resilience NSW spokesperson.

Wollongbar temporary accommodation site

The site located in Wollongbar currently has around 25 temporary accommodation pods in the process of being established and connected to utilities.

Caravans awaiting connection at the Wollongbar site. Photo David Lowe.

Twelve caravans have also been moved onto the site to provide further accommodation. This site will have the capacity to house up to 220 people.

Depending on need, the number of housing units at the site may be increased to up 128 units of varying capacities to meet demand, with people allocated to housing appropriate to their individual or family situation.

North Coast Community Housing (NCCH) has been appointed as the community housing provider to manage sites across the Northern Rivers region and ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.

NCCH is currently working through the allocation process with the first residents expected to move into the Wollongbar site in coming days.

What’s next?

Resilience NSW says, ‘Further temporary accommodation sites, including government and council-owned sites, are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks and months.

Wollongbar housing pods and caravans. Photo David Lowe.

‘The NSW Government is also working on longer-term housing solutions for flood-affected communities such as the funding of social and Aboriginal housing.

‘Flood affected community members seeking housing support are urged to register their need as soon as possible by calling Service NSW on 13 77 88, visiting nsw.gov.au/floods or speaking to recovery centre staff.’

New bus routes are being established to connect people living at the Wollongbar site with services.

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  1. Looks like Nauru! Tony Benn famously said ‘ The way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it’.

  2. Alan Only reason going there is flood then our homes hopefully wondering if u went through want we people did that will be living in pods so we be grateful for what we got

  3. 200 + New Residents.
    This is something our community of Wollongbar Residents and Rate Payers was not even consulted about by this Ballina Council. While the security of this Community is never considered.
    Your right Allan they will do as they please..
    Just as they always do.

  4. Wow how long has it taken for a few people to be “temporarily housed” sheesh the army could of come in and have it all built ready to go in a few days (I’ve seen them set up basically over night)
    Where are all the other few thousand flood refugees going to go ? Oh that’s right back in their cardboard walled homes for winter😠 😡


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