15 December 2020

Bega Mayor urges property owners to put vacant properties up for rent to ease housing shortage

| Sharon Kelley
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Aerial view of homes on coast in Bega Valley.

Bega Valley Shire Council is urging landlords to list vacant properties to help people find accommodation. Photo: Supplied.

Bega Valley Shire Council Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick has called on property owners to list vacant homes 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,” he said. “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.”

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 that 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,” said Mayor Fitzpatrick.

READ ALSO Tailored help for bushfire victims wanting to rebuild

“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.

READ ALSO Myriad factors contribute to coastal housing shortage

If you need help with urgent temporary housing, call Link2Home on 1800 152 152.

For mental health support, please call the 24-hour Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511.

The Bega Valley Bushfire Recovery Support Service will be closed from Monday, 21 December, 2020, and reopen on Monday, 4 January, 2021.

If you require bushfire recovery support during this period, please call 02 6499 2345 and leave a message.

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