Family’s bid to find a home

A MARYBOROUGH family fears they will soon be living out of their car after desperate attempts this month to try to put a roof over family members’ heads have failed.

Battling to hold back tears, Cheryl and her daughter Amanda (not their real names) said they had only until December 9 to find somewhere to live, otherwise they, and Amanda’s two children, aged eight months and five years, would spend Christmas homeless.

Amanda said the family had been living in a rental home in Bundaberg for six years before the Women’s Domestic Violence Service moved them to a safe house.

Three weeks later they were relocated to Maryborough in consultation with Fraser Coast Housing. Rules limited their crisis accommodation to 12 weeks, which ends next Friday.

Amanda said Fraser Coast Housing had this week said the family would have to leave by Monday, as other people needed the home.

“We can leave all our belongings under the house but we can’t stay there.

“They said there’s nothing more they could do. If we don’t move out on Monday, they’ll change the locks.”

The family has since been granted an extension until December 9.

Kylie Morrison from Fraser Coast Housing said staff members had done all they could for the family.

“But unfortunately there are other families waiting in line,” she said. “The really unfortunate thing here is that this is a really good family – the house they’re staying in is the cleanest I’ve ever seen it.”

Amanda said homes available to rent within their price range were “dives”.

“There are holes in the walls ... at one place the ‘teenager’s retreat’ was a concrete slab with a hot water system in the middle ... I can’t have my children living in places like that.”

Cheryl said they had been approved for a bond loan but a real estate agent had refused to accept it. “We’ve got perfect references, we don’t owe any money – we just don’t have any money – and the (Bundaberg) house we were in, the landlord didn’t want us to leave.”

“I feel I’m a bad enough mum now ... as much as it would hurt not to be with them, they would be better off in a children’s home than living in a car.”

Amanda said her eight-month-old daughter had been on a drip in hospital just last week and her son had a lung disease, which meant they needed to live within easy reach of medical care.

They don’t know where to turn next for help.

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