Farmhouse rental programs are a common method used by many rural Australian towns to attract new residents to live in their communities. The programs generally involve offering abandoned and often semi-derelict farmhouses for rent at a nominal price, often $1 per week. The towns that offer such programs have generally undergone a significant decline in population. As a result, essential services for the area such as education and health are removed or reduced, creating a further, spiralling, population decline. By attracting new residents, the communities hope to reverse their demographic spiral.
The modern farmhouse rental program began in the Central West town of Cumnock. The organisers there claim the program was successful; claiming the population of the town grew by 30 per cent and the local school hired a new teacher as a result of the 14 new enrolments. As a result, the program has been adapted widely across rural New South Wales and beyond. Similarly, the rural locality of Errowanbang saw its school's population rise above the two teacher threshold for the first time in its history.
Communities offering farmhouse rentals
- Cumnock, New South Wales
- Errowanbang, New South Wales
- Greenethorpe, New South Wales
- Ilford, New South Wales
- Tallimba, New South Wales
- Tottenham, New South Wales
- Trundle, New South Wales
- Tullamore, New South Wales
- Wycheproof, Victoria
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- "Want $1 rent? Move to the Mallee". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "$1 rent adds to the lure of country life". Daily Telegraph (News Limited). 26 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- Vaz, Ellen (3 July 2009). "Christine farms out Cumnock rent plan". Central Western Daily (Fairfax). Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Cumnock". Rent a Farmhouse for $1 a week. rentafarmhouse.com.au. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Other houses". Rent a Farmhouse for $1 a week. rentafarmhouse.com.au. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Greenethorpe". Greenethorpe needs you!. Revive Greenethorpe committee. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Rent a farmouse - Ilford NSW". Ilford Public School P&C. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Welcome to Tallimba". Tallimba Advancement Group. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Rent a farmhouse". Tottenham: The Heart of New South Wales. tottenhamnsw.com.au. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Tullamore "Rent a Farm House"". Tullamore Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
- "Wycheproof Farm Rental". Wycheproof 2010. Retrieved 2009-07-15.