Family of nine ordered to leave crisis home
A BUNDABERG family of nine has been left with nowhere to turn and nowhere to live after being ordered to leave crisis accommodation.
Tanya and Simon Harris say they and their seven children need only eight more weeks in the house so two of their kids can finish their Year 12 education and while Mrs Harris goes through a difficult pregnancy.
In August 2012 an unexpected family crisis caused the family to ask Bundaberg Regional Housing for help and be put in crisis housing.
"Having never head of them before at the time they became our blessing in disguise, finding us a house within two days," Mrs Harris said.
It was smooth sailing until November when the family found out one of their payments had not transferred properly and although it was rectified, it left them in arrears which they arranged with a magistrate to pay off in instalments.
Mrs Harris said three months later a routine inspection of the property was done by a Regional Housing staff member.
"At the time we felt she clearly showed a dislike to us and we were made to feel that due to our circumstance we were beneath her," she said.
"Within the month our case managers paid us a visit and explained that after eight weeks we were going to be asked to leave - no real reason was given.
"They suggested we gather sufficient paper evidence of our case to still require this accommodation and a time frame required and it would be assessed."
Mrs Harris is pregnant with her eighth child and has been diagnosed with a large subchorionic haematoma, a condition that requires rest and no stress.
"My doctor, concerned for mine and my son's health, gave me a medical certificate for a period of three months to pass on to Regional Housing as part of our evidence to support staying," she said.
A letter was also written by the principal of the high school her sons attend saying with only eight weeks left of Year 12, leaving now was not a good idea.
But despite the documentation and the reassurance the family is moving to South Australia as soon as the children are finished school, they have been ordered to leave by Saturday.
"I can imagine we certainly aren't the only people doing it tough these days but I have been left to wonder how when you turn to people who are supposed to help those in crisis create an unneeded crisis just over a couple of months," Mrs Harris said.
Regional Housing chief executive officer Brett Hanna said the decision would not be overturned.
"Regional Housing Limited is not in a position to reconsider this decision as the termination has been ordered by the magistrate," he said.
"These tenants have been housed in crisis accommodation since September 4, 2012.
"Regional Housing Limited considers that with the reduced rent and additional supports provided to this household, 12 months has been more than sufficient to find alternative housing. The QCAT Magistrate agreed with this and ordered the termination of this tenancy."