Many still homeless and struggling since floods

NO HOME: More than 50 Bundaberg home owners are still yet to return to their homes following last year’s flood.
NO HOME: More than 50 Bundaberg home owners are still yet to return to their homes following last year’s flood.

ALMOST 15 months on from the natural disasters that devastated Bundaberg, many people are still homeless and struggling to recover from the financial impact. 

More than 50 Bundaberg homeowners whose lives were impacted by ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald are looking forward to moving back home in the next 12 months thanks to a Salvation Army project which has received a $100,000 boost from the RACQ Foundation.

Salvation Army development manager Derek Brown said the RACQ Foundation funding would provide a vital boost to a project established to help the worst affected - those not insured, under-insured or without the financial means to re-build their homes.

"More than a year after the ex-cyclone we were hit by a second wave of people who were unable to recover from its devastating impact," Mr Brown said.

"These are people who did not want to ask for help at the time of the emergency as there were a lot of people who were worse off. They've just tried to battle on but are now in financial difficulty and struggling to survive.

"We estimate that over the next 12 months we should be able to restore and rebuild approximately 50 homes to a habitable standard."

Mr Brown said they had been relying to a large extent on volunteers to carry out the project.

"Thanks to the RACQ Foundation funding we can now spend the resources on labour and building materials to fast-track the work. It has enabled us to get over some hurdles."

In addition to helping people rebuild their homes, Mr Brown said the Salvation Army had chaplains and counsellors on hand to help the victims cope emotionally.

"Being unable to get back into your home is a big psychological barrier and the emotional and psychological effect on an elderly person, in particular, is huge. It's amazing the emotional uplift we see as they're able to get back on their feet again."

Topics:  floods 2013

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