Posted on 20 Feb 2020
Our Far South Coast communities had a difficult time in the lead up to Christmas as fire threatened many of our communities and travel by road was uncertain.
For SEARMS this came to a head on New Years Eve and the following days as fires reached Mogo, Batemans Bay, Cobargo and surrounding areas.
Four homes were completely destroyed, two were uninhabitable, and many more sustained some exterior and fencing damage or loss.
SEARMS worked closely with staff from Aboriginal Affairs, Aboriginal Housing Office, Department of Communities and Justice as well as Owner organisations to determine housing needs and re-house our displaced tenants. With a collective effort from us all – we were able to rehouse families into a range of accommodation made available by the AHO and FaCs; a private owner; and SEARMS own stock. The final family was moved in 21 February 2020.
SEARMS holds an insurance policy across most of its managed and owned stock (with the exception of one Aboriginal Corporation who arranges their own). Insurers were notified on New Years Day and have been working with us to finalise the claim process as soon as possible.
SEARMS does not receive additional funding to cover its costs for unexpected events such as this and we are thankful for the additional staffing resources that the AHO provided and the support by way of information and access to key personnel and pathways that assisted us in our re-housing and rebuilding priorities.