The housing construction crunch has impacted the rebuilding of Upper Murray homes lost in the 2019-2020 bushfires.
Master Builders Victoria released a statement this week asking residents to "be kind and patient with builders".
Chief executive Rebecca Casson said there was "an acute shortage of builders, bricklayers, concreters and electricians in some areas of the Upper Murray".
"Another problem hampering the rebuilding process is ongoing materials shortages and supply chain constraints," she said.
Corryong Building Supplies and Nursery owner Peter Hunt said he "didn't have one piece of timber".
"And now insulation and plaster is becoming scarce. Half the steel products we're trying to get we can't source," he said.
"I couldn't sell products to three customers this week, and I couldn't say when I would have them."
Mr Hunt agreed the area was short of qualified tradespeople, but believed red tape at the council level hadn't been eased enough.
"We lost a lot of hay sheds in the fires, and I've got about 15 hay shed kits stacked up because people are still trying to get permits to put them up," he said.
Towong Shire Council partnered with Bushfire Recovery Victoria to run the free Rebuild Support Service, providing advice to residents at many stages of the rebuild.
Twenty-one of the 25 dwellings that were destroyed have received planning approval.
Of these, three have completed their build, eight are in construction and the remaining are in varying stages of progressing their rebuild.
There are a small number of families who are still considering their rebuild.
Towong Shire Council Mayor Andrew Whitehead said people could still get in touch with the Rebuild Support Service.
"All fees relating to permits for any rebuilds associated with bushfire, including shedding, continues to be waived," he said.
"Council has extended the fee waiver until the end of 2022 to ensure the impact of COVID-19 and availability of building supplies and builders doesn't impact on the ability of people to apply for a fee waiver."
Cr Whitehead sympathised with those rebuilding that have been impacted by these shortages.
"For many rebuilding and being in their new home for Christmas is not possible, which is heartbreaking," he said.
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"Council is aware of the issue and has been flagging this with State and Federal Governments since early 2020.
"If you are a tradesperson and are able to help, please get in touch with the Rebuild Support Service regarding any trades you have to offer."
A DELWP spokeswoman said nine properties in Towong had received funding through the Victorian Government's 2019-20 Eastern Victorian Bushfire Rebuilding Rebate Programs.
"More than $72,000 has been dispersed to the properties, which is helping them replace their rainwater and septic tanks, prepare building and planning permit applications and geotechnical assessments," she said.
"We encourage all fire-affected landowners in East Gippsland and Towong to apply for this rebate before 31 May 2023, so we can support them in the rebuild of their home and reduce their financial burden."
The Rebuild Support Service can be contacted through Towong Shire Council on 1300 365 222.
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