The NSW Government wants to ensure that residents in bushfire-affected communities have a safe place to stay during Easter, with many towns experiencing strong accommodation bookings for the Easter long weekend.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing, who has been appointed State Recovery Coordinator following the recent bushfires, said some people have been staying in empty holiday homes which were offered up by members of the public. Now that tourism is picking back up again, some bushfire affected people are being asked to leave the holiday homes.
“My number one priority is taking care of the people of NSW affected by these devastating fires and any person displaced by bushfires can be put in temporary accommodation immediately and without any cost to them,” Assistant Commissioner Willing said.
“We have heard that some bushfire affected towns are experiencing strong bookings for the upcoming Easter long weekend. While this is great for tourism, for some people who are staying in previously empty holiday homes through arrangements they’ve made directly with owners, this could mean that they suddenly don’t have a roof over their head. We don’t want people to think they have run out of options, we can arrange a room for them tonight.
“The support for bushfire affected people is still available. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are having difficulties arranging a place to stay. Even if you have already been through the NSW Government emergency accommodation, we will help you again. Please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 to arrange.”
The NSW Government has already helped almost 8,000 people with accommodation since November last year, with almost $2 million has been spent for around 18,000 room nights.
Assistant Commissioner Willing said some people may not know that the Government can also help affected people with private rental bond loan, advance rental costs, and sourcing housing options from the private rental market.
“So far we have referred 194 people to suitable private accommodation and 60 people have been assisted with a bond loan or advance rent. I want to ensure that people know that there is always help available and all they have to do is reach out. We have private rentals on hand and ready to go.”
To seek assistance please call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.