Change your life for only a dollar a week
A number of small regional towns have been leasing houses at a reduced rate to help support their communities that are struggling with a declining population.
One of the most well-known examples is the NSW town of Trundle, featured in the TV show Country Town Rescue which aired in 2012.
Country Town Rescue followed the experience of five families that relocated to Trundle to take advantage of regional living and a dollar a week rent.
The experiences of each of the families was wholly unique. Some thrived in their new town while others struggled to make the transition.
The show explores the very real challenges that come from this type of move. Showing that regional living is not for everyone and that such a significant change like this needs considerable thought and planning. Real considerations such as employment and access to services are addressed in the series.
The success of some families highlights the many advantages of regional living, particularly for young families.
Trundle is just one of many towns that have used the ‘rent a farmhouse’ initiative. Although different communities have adapted the approach to suit their region, typically the initiative is aimed at community-minded young families.
Cumnock in NSW, for example, used a ‘rent a farmhouse’ initiative to attracted 20 new families to the area in the space of about a year. As a consequence, the local school’s enrolment numbers swelled from 34 to 60.
The ‘rent a farmhouse’ initiative gives young families the opportunity to try regional living without the large financial commitment of purchasing a house, or expensive rent. It also brings the local community together, encouraging them to welcome new residents and help them settle into the town.
Country Town Rescue also showed that initiatives like this can be important for boosting local morale.
“I think one of the best things about this program hasn’t been the people coming, I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it’s what has happened here -getting people out of the community, working together…” – Trundle Tree Change Committee Member
“It has given the town, not just this committee, a real can-do attitude. I think you could suggest anything to do at Trundle right at this stage and you could do it.” – Trundle Tree Change Committee Member
If you know of a community that is using a unique approach to attract new residents to the area, share it with us via our website, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Help us promote regional living, inspire other communities to grow their population and get people to #makethemove.
- Country Town Rescue Facebook page
- Trundle Tree Change: Five Years On
- Other towns using the ‘rent a farmhouse’ initiative