Flood victims finally return home
PEOPLE are beginning to return to their homes after the flood event earlier this year left thousands of properties damaged.
When Dennis and Jane Wild moved into their newly built Fairways house in 2016, the last thing they expected was to be forced out by floodwater less than three years later.
"It was devastating but there was so much to do we didn't have time to sit back and think," Mr Wild said.
"We just had to salvage what we could and get it out of the house.
"The water was 400mm deep so we had to replace the walls up to 1400mm as well as the entire ensuite, kitchen, bathroom and laundry."
After five months of living with their son they have returned home with the help of their original builder, Darryl Bogotto Constructions.
"It's a bit lonely at night because we're one of the very few people back here," Mr Wild said. "But the neighbours next to us will be moving back in a few weeks. There's also plenty of construction on other houses happening around the area."
The slow return of houses to the region has freed up demand for properties, with the vacancy rate softening 0.7 per cent to 2.2 per cent in the last quarter, which is good news for tenants.
Local builder Darryl Bogotto, who co-owns Darryl Bogotto Constructions with his wife Robyn, said the company had helped several families move back into their homes in Fairfield Waters and The Village after the floods.
"We've completed about 10 reconstruction jobs after the floods and we were very humbled that our clients came back to us to get their repairs done," Mr Bogotto said.
"We lost some of our rental properties as well in the floods, but we really believe in those suburbs and we believe in the rebuild of those suburbs.
"The homes we're doing will be back to the standard that they were before the floods."
Mr Bogotto said insurance companies needed to give flood victims a say in the reconstruction of their houses.
"It's very sad for the ones who had just built brand-new homes, especially the ones in Fairways," Mr Bogotto said.
"Local builders obviously can't repair every single home but insurance companies need to recognise that owners should have the right to source their builder locally.
"They should have a choice."