Bushfire affected residents can live on-site while rebuilding dwellings

Council relaxes on-site structure policy

As bushfire victims across the region begin to rebuild and repair damaged and destroyed structures on their properties, MidCoast Council has reached out with offers of assistance.

Many people undertaking to build or rebuild their own house often find themselves in temporary need of accommodation, liveable communities director, Paul De Szell reported at this month's ordinary meeting held in Forster on Wednesday, February 5.

Providing for temporary accommodation on-site during the construction process can assist in addressing this issue, he said.

Councillors unanimously supported Mr De Szell's draft temporary accommodation policy, which would provide guidelines relating to interim housing while ratepayers construct or rebuild their homes.

"This is an important policy," Cr Len Roberts said.

"People have been hard done by."

There are people struggling to get back to their properties after the fires.

Paul De Szell

He said the policy would enable property owners to build a shed with a bathroom and other facilities while waiting for their permanent home to be rebuilt.

"People don't want to live in a caravan park."

Cr Roberts commended council staff for the initiative.

"There are people struggling to get back to their properties after the fires," Mr De Szell said.

"People are trying to get on and forget the bushfires." he said.

"We don't want to punish people, we want to be flexible."

He said the draft policy provided a mechanism that allowed members of the community who were impacted by the bushfires to return and reside on their properties, while they constructed new dwellings.