$33m for homeless bushfire victims

$33m for homeless bushfire victims

28 June 2009

published by news.smh.com.au

Australia — More than $33 million in donations will be distributed to people who lost their homes in Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires.

Grants of up to $15,000 will be paid to people who lost their homes to help them move from temporary to permanent accommodation.

Singles and couples will receive $10,000 payments while households will receive $15,000. This is on top of the $50,000 lump sum and the needs-based payments of up to $50,000 that have already been paid.

Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund panel chair John Landy said the Transitional Support for Homeowners payment recognised the temporary circumstances many people have found themselves in as they wait for new homes to be built.

“More than 2,000 homes were destroyed in the bushfires and people from these homes have found short-term solutions such as renting, public housing, temporary villages or staying with friends and family,” Mr Landy said in a statement on Sunday.

“In most cases temporary accommodation will be required for at least 12 months, but for many this will stretch out to 18 months or two years.

“These people are suffering extreme hardship because they have to find additional money for rent, are living in unfamiliar surroundings, are incurring extra costs for essential services and travel and can often suffer from social isolation.”

Homeowners who previously received a destroyed homes payment and are in need will automatically have the additional support paid directly into their bank accounts.

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