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Out of towners boost rental stock

Monday 9 March 2020

Holiday home owners have responded enthusiastically to a personal plea from Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes to consider permanently letting their property to those impacted by bushfire.

Mayor Innes wrote to non-resident ratepayers in the shire after this summer’s devastating fires, asking if they could help by providing their holiday house as a long-term rental this year.

“We have many residents who have lost their homes and there are not enough houses to rent,” she wrote. “Families are staying with friends, in motels, in campgrounds, tents and caravans. With the school year beginning we are trying to help people to move into more appropriate temporary housing and rental properties as soon as possible, as this is a vital step in the process of rebuilding lives and moving forward.”

More than 80 properties have been offered for rent as a result of the Mayor’s appeal, providing a dramatic boost in the number of rentals on offer.

Mayor Innes said she was heartened by the response.

“We know these non-resident ratepayers love our shire and want to help in this crisis. This is a really practical way they can help the local community get back on its feet.

“We have lost at least 500 homes, with many families, and in some cases whole communities severely impacted.

“Two months on, we still have people living in caravans and tents and that’s not ideal heading into the colder months. Putting a permanent roof over their heads is a first step to bringing normality back into their lives.”

Mayor Innes said it was not too late for non-resident ratepayers, or local ratepayers, to offer up their homes.

“They can deal directly with a local real estate agent or, alternatively, contact the Bushfire Housing Assistance Response Team at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

“The NSW Department of Family and Justice is also offering incentives to support tenancy arrangements, including rental bonds and rental assistance payments paid on behalf of the prospective tenant.”