- Jessica* spoke with SBS News about the challenges she’s faced since becoming homeless.
- Just a year ago, Jessica had been renting a three bedroom home in Perth’s eastern suburbs.
- The head of Anglicare says her service is seeing whole families living in cars and more people rough sleeping.
According to Domain, Australia’s vacancy rate is steady at 0.9 per cent for the second month in a row, but for those unable to secure stable accommodation, life is anything but stable.
The makeshift shelter had been created using the shell of an old tiny home by covering it with materials that had mostly been salvaged.
Increasing rents in an unstable market
When that came to an end, she and her partner found there were no rentals available that they could afford.
A report compiled earlier this year found less than 1 per cent of available rentals were affordable for a person on age or disability support pensions. At the time, that equated to 66 properties across the country.
Jessica said while there may have been possible longer term accommodation options available beyond those couple of weeks, she would not have been able to keep her dog.
Having a dog makes it more difficult for Jessica to access crisis accommodation as she does not want to give up her pet. Source: Supplied
Batman is Jessica’s Jack Russell dog, who she said had been with her since her husband died nine years ago.
So for the past three weeks, Jessica and her partner have been staying with friends.
“Still deciding where to set it up, deciding if we should find a property to stay on and be self-sufficient or pay the caravan park fees of $50 to $60 a night.”
More Australians sleeping rough
Anglicare Australia executive director Kasy Chambers said homelessness and rough sleeping were becoming more prominent within suburban Australia.
“It’s just incredible this is happening in what is a first world country.”
The increasing cost of living which has seen record inflation since those numbers were recorded has put a growing number of people under financial stress.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/a-tight-rental-market-is-pushing-some-to-go-to-great-lengths-for-a-place-to-sleep/hswqnapvw A tight rental market is pushing some to go to great lengths for a place to sleep