Houses were lost in the bushfires that ravaged the east coast of Australia last year. This home in Nana Glen was completely destroyed. Picture by Nathan Edwards.
Houses were lost in the bushfires that ravaged the east coast of Australia last year. This home in Nana Glen was completely destroyed. Picture by Nathan Edwards.

Fire victims forced out of holiday homes ahead of Easter

A SURGE in accommodation bookings ahead of the Easter break is forcing bushfire victims out of holiday homes, the State Recovery Coordinator has said.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing said following the bushfires, some people have been staying in empty holiday homes which were offered up by members of the public.

However, now that tourism is picking back up, some of those affected by the bushfires are being asked to leave.

Assistant Commissioner Willing is advising that there is help available.

"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," he 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."

Since November last year the NSW Government has spent almost $2 million on 18,000 room nights, assisting a total of almost 8,000 people.

Assistant Commissioner Willing shared concerns some people may not be aware that the Government can also help with private rental bond loans, advance rental costs and sourcing housing options from the private rental market.

A total of 194 people, e have been referred to 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 call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444.