15 December 2020
Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick, is leading a call to encourage property owners with vacant properties to consider placing them on the rental market to support local people who are struggling to find suitable accommodation.
“As we near the anniversary of the Black Summer Fires, many of those who lost their homes are still looking for long-term housing solutions. There are also increasing numbers of vulnerable families who are having difficulty finding affordable housing. Council is committed to doing everything we can to assist,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.
Local services are reporting a critical shortage of rental accommodation, with up to 50 people competing for each rental property on the market. There has also been a 30 per cent increase in the number of people asking for help from services who support people in need of accommodation.
“The outpouring of support for our community has been overwhelming, and by no means do we want to dictate to people what they should be doing with their properties,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.
“However, we do want to highlight the clear and urgent need that exists.
“We are extremely keen to open the lines of communication with local property owners and landlords in the pursuit of mutually beneficial outcomes for themselves and those seeking more permanent accommodation options.”
Property owners who are interested in increasing their tenancy rate or providing housing for someone in need are encouraged to contact a local real estate agent who will work with service providers to find the right match for each property.