More than $250 million has been donated to charities for Australian bushfire relief in recent weeks, while the Federal Government has allocated $2 billion to the recovery effort.
The groundswell of financial and emotional support from around the world has been immense as the rebuilding of affected communities across Australia gets underway.
Right here in Canberra, many of us have been supporting the cause in myriad ways. But for Canberrans who own South Coast property, they’re able assist those who lost their homes get back on their feet in a big way.
Harcourts Batemans Bay Director Dene Lewthwaite has called on them to offer up their holiday homes as long-term rentals.
For the Canberrans generous enough to participate, Harcourts Batemans Bay will offer a 20% discount on their professional property management fees. They will also be donating to the NSW Rural Fire Service and Wires.
Mr Lewthwaite said he’s keen to rent properties at current market rents.
Having been through the 2003 bushfires, he saw how quickly rents and sale prices spiked, adding further anxiety and pressure on those who needed a home while rebuilding. Mr Lewthwaite is hoping to avoid that at the South Coast.
Canberra resident Geoff Davis and his family decided to offer up their South Coast holiday home as a long-term rental.
“We discussed it as a family and wanted to support the community at the South Coast that has welcomed us into their fold for the close to 20 years we’ve been enjoying holidays down there,” he said.
“It’s a practical way for us to provide direct help and so important because evacuees can’t live in temporary, emergency accommodation during the long haul as they rebuild their lives.”
NSW Member for Bega, and Minister for Transport Andrew Constance MP said there’s a need now to free up stock owned by non-residential rate payers whose homes have survived.
“It provides a homeless family with a roof over their head as they get sorted and are able to rebuild on their blocks.
“We have people living in caravan parks, hotel rooms, with neighbours, with friends, in sheds. We’ve got to get people placed and one solution to that is freeing up many coastal homes which won’t necessarily have people in them,” he said.