Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Temporary housing agreements signed for displaced Byron residents

Byron Shire Council has signed lease agreements with the NSW Government to allow for two temporary housing sites at Brunswick Heads to be developed to host flood-hit local residents.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience and Minister for Flood Recovery, Steph Cooke said the new sites are among a dozen temporary housing sites being established across the Northern Rivers.

“Housing is one of our biggest challenges in the Northern Rivers which is why we are establishing these temporary housing sites to provide people with a safe and secure roof over their heads while they repair and rebuild,” Ms Cooke said.

“The temporary housing sites are expected to accommodate residents for up to two years, depending on their needs.”

One site will be located behind the Stan Thompson Oval (pictured) on Byron’s Tweed Street, which will accommodate more than 45 self-contained temporary housing units for up to 160 people. 

The second temporary housing site will be located at Torakina Road and Excelsior Drive, hosting 10 self-contained units to accommodate more than 20 people. 

Once construction is completed, the sites will be connected to utilities including power, water, sewage, rubbish collection and parking.

The NSW Government is responsible for the developments and this week letters were sent to residents living near the temporary housing sites. 

“My priority is to keep supporting those flood-affected who desperately need housing and right now to make temporary housing available within our communities, to bring people back to their lives,” said Byron Shire Mayor, Michael Lyon.

“If there’s temporary accommodation for more than 180 people that’s ready to move in to by the end of the year then that is fantastic news.

“When you hear people’s stories and how they’re displaced and disconnected, living miles away, living in tents, just trying to get through a day at a time still … six months down the track … that’s why we need to keep moving forward and need to keep working with the NSW Government and enabling these solutions on behalf of these people.

“The community wants us to take action on housing and flood affected people are begging us for housing options and this is what it looks like when you need to get emergency or temporary housing integrated into towns quickly.

“We have to keep our focus on the end game here – the delivery of temporary housing solutions now for all those people whose lives have been turned upside down by the floods,” the Mayor said.

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