Recovery housing helps flooded residents find their feet

21 March 2023 2:35PM

Dawn and Richard have only been in their new home in Stanthorpe for a few weeks but are already loving it.

"For starters, it doesn't flood. The people in Stanthorpe are lovely, which is always great," says Dawn.

Like many others, Dawn and Richard were devastated by the significant flooding in Gympie in February 2022. Their home of seven years was flooded above the roof and they lost everything.

After months staying in a rental property that was beyond their means, Dawn and Richard were referred by St Vincent de Paul to temporary accommodation at the Gympie Recovery Accommodation Park, run by the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy. A few weeks after making the call, they moved into their own unit in the park.

"The park was very clean and tidy and the staff there –  Vicky, Tim and Lee – were so helpful. They did everything that was needed and were great with communication," says Dawn.

"Living in the park was good. We got to meet a lot of people going through the same things, so there was a lot of support for each other.

"We were able to talk through our experiences and struggles. It was a lovely group with no dramas."

Once their immediate housing need was met, they were able to start planning their next steps.

Dawn and Richard applied for the voluntary home buy-back scheme under the Queensland Government's Resilient Homes Fund.

"The application process was straightforward – lots of paperwork but quite simple," says Dawn.

When the buyback went through, the couple bought a new home in Stanthorpe.

Dawn and Richard are settling in, making their new house a home. They won't forget the help they got after losing everything.

"I can't overstate how grateful we are for the support we received from everybody at the park, residents and staff alike. They made a very difficult situation so much easier," she says.

The Queensland Government's Housing Service Centres are here if you or someone you know needs housing help. Call 13 QGOV for your nearest centre or call the Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753.