Flooding in Ipswich, Qld

Ipswich City Council is set to begin buying flood-affected properties on behalf of the Queensland and Federal Governments, under the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund Voluntary Home Buy Back Program. 

Jointly funded through Federal and State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), the resilience program is the largest of its kind to ever be delivered in Australia. 

Ipswich City Council Mayor, Teresa Harding, said the Queensland Reconstruction Authority has provided Council with an initial funding of $22 million under the scheme, so it can begin to purchase homes that have accepted an offer.

“The Queensland government has set the eligibility criteria and rules around how the funding is allocated, and now Council has been tasked with conveyancing and finalising the purchase with the homeowners that the state has made offers to,” Mayor Harding said.

“We have been advised that fifteen homeowners have currently accepted offers from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA) and Council will now start the process of conveyancing and preparing for settlement.

“Some properties will be settled before Christmas. These houses will then be demolished in due course, with the land being re-zoned for non-habitable uses in accordance with Council’s obligations under the Resilient Homes Fund criteria.

“This process will continue to roll out over coming months as the State Government continues to work through the assessment and valuation process for properties that have registered for the Voluntary Home Buy-Back program. 

“If the property meets the eligibility criteria, a valuation is completed, and an offer is presented to the homeowner.  Once they are accepted, the state will pass them on to Council to buy the homes.”

The Queensland and Federal Governments jointly developed the $741 million Resilient Homes Fund, which the Voluntary Home Buy-Back program is part of, to assist those who were affected by the 2021-2022 floods. 

Under the Resilient Homes Fund, funding is available to assist eligible flood-affected homeowners to:

  • Repair or retrofit homes
  • Raise flood affected homes
  • Apply to have their homes bought on a voluntary basis

Mayor Harding urged residents that had not yet registered for the fund to do so.

“So far, 476 Ipswich homeowners have registered with the Resilient Homes Fund, with 186 of those registering for the voluntary buy-back,” Mayor Harding said.

“There have been 32 offers presented by the QRA to those homeowners in the first round and the QRA are now moving to the second round of offers in the coming weeks. 

“Registrations can still be made so if you have not already, I would urge you to look into which program suits your needs, and register.” 

Local Recovery and Resilience Group Chairperson, Councillor Kate Kunzelmann, said assessments are ongoing. 

“There have been 106 Ipswich homeowners registered for the resilient retrofit and 93 homes registered to have their homes raised,” Cr Kunzelmann. 

“Energy and Public Works is the Queensland Government department assessing those applications and they are working through those now. 

“Through all levels of government working collaboratively with our community to promote resilience, we can ensure a quicker recovery from any future flood events.

“While not administered by Council, the Resilient Homes Fund is an important part of our community’s recovery from these most recent flood events and mitigates against future events.”

Residents can register their interest in the Resilient Homes Fund via the Queensland Government’s QRA website, found here.

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