Make contact for housing help

WITH the accommodation survey period coming to an end on April 18, the Flood Recovery Group is encouraging people who need to get out of their house for repairs to make contact with Anglicare.

“The best way that we can service the community effectively is for people to fill out these forms so we know how big the problem is. We need to get accurate applications for funding into the federal and state governments as soon as possible,” Housing sub-group chairperson Kelly Uhr said.

The sub-group was set up to gauge the issues of housing in the Central Highlands in the wake of the flooding,

“We know there are people out there who are being told by their builders that they need to move out for a period of time,” Ms Uhr said.

“From what we are hearing that can be anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.”

In response to anecdotal evidence of flood-affected individuals having difficulties finding alternative accommodation, the recovery group teamed up with Anglicare, Department of Housing and local real estate agents to put together a roster of houses they hope can be used “to take some of the burden off people who need to get out quickly”, Mrs Uhr explained.

“What we do know is there is an ongoing shortage of affordable housing in Emerald. What we are trying to figure out is how many flood-affected people are being displaced and need assistance,” she said.

“Once we have that information we can design an appropriate response.”

To date, the data capture has been a success with 17 families identified as well as numerous properties for those people to use, but the recovery group is encouraging more people to register.

“We have a variety of accommodation identified, from one to three bedrooms, and we are trying to ascertain whether we need to apply for funding to bring more into town,” Ms Uhr said.

“We hope to make sure that everyone has somewhere affordable to go whilst their home is being fixed.”

Jennifer Meyer, from the Department of Housing and Homelessness, said there was also assistance available for those needing to pay a bond on interim housing.

“We can try and organise rental grants and bond loans for those displaced due to flooding. We will certainly do the best we can to help people out by extending eligibilities where possible,” she said.

To register or for more information on housing assistance go to Anglicare at 44 School Ln, Emerald, or call 4982 4062. Application forms can also be found at any of the real estate agencies in Emerald.

To apply for assistance from the Department of Housing go 27A Hospital Rd, Emerald, to discuss eligibility.

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