Demand grows for return of household program

LOCALS looking to better protect their homes against future natural disasters are demanding the State Government bring back a highly successful government scheme.

Hinchinbrook MP Nick Dametto said his office had fielded several enquiries from residents asking if they could apply for another round of the State Government’s $20 million Household Resilience Program.

The program, which finished up earlier this year, offered eligible low-income homeowners a government grant of 75 per cent of the cost of home improvements up to a maximum of $11,250.

“We had almost 200 people apply for the program in Hinchinbrook when it was running, with 114 grants awarded to homeowners totalling more than a $1 million,” Mr Dametto said.

“Since the program closed, we’ve had several enquiries by residents who found about it too late and would love to be able to better protect their home from cyclones and flooding.”

The program applied to owners and mortgagors of homes built before 1984 located within 50km of the coastline of a recognised cyclone risk area, and also contained income eligibility requirements.

“I think it’s great that so many residents were able to make use of the program. Not only will these improvements to people’s homes add value to their property but there has been direct benefit from the scheme with local contractors who have been busy performing these works,” Mr Dametto said.

“There is an abundance of ageing homes in towns across Hinchinbrook that would no doubt benefit from the subsidies offered by the program, whether it’s installing a new roof or wind and debris window protection.

“We live in an area that is frequently prone to natural disasters and any improvements that make homes more resilient will only help lower the cost of insurance premiums.”

In his response to a Question on Notice asked by Mr Dametto in parliament earlier this year, Housing Minister Mick De Brenni said a total of 1427 grants had been awarded through the program as at May 31, with $24 million of works being generated and 95.5 per cent of that being undertaken by local suppliers.

Mr Dametto said there were many residents who could still benefit from the program and urged the government to open another round of funding.

Nick Dametto MP