Renters in struggle street as housing shortage hits
A MOTHER and her son stand together, desperately searching for a place to live in Tweed Heads.
This is the face of the rental crisis affecting the shire. A high demand for rental properties, fuelled by rising house prices over the past 12 months, is making it harder to find a rental home.
A single mother, who asked not to be identified, said she was at breaking point trying to find a home for herself and her 14-year-old son.
"I just feel everywhere I am turning I am not getting anywhere,” she said.
"I just need somewhere to live; it is urgent now with school starting up again soon.”
The woman, who has rented for 14 years without trouble, said she was forced to live with friends until she could find a new home.
She has contacted Tweed homeless agency On Track, Tweed MP Geoff Provest and NSW Housing to no avail.
"I've been on the housing commission list for six years but despite my son having autism it's not enough to be considered a priority,” she said.
Her main stipulation was not to move away from Tweed Heads due to the myriad of doctors' appointments her son must attend each week.
Former Brisbane resident Shannon Blaik said it had taken almost two months for her family to find a rental after her husband was offered a new job in the Tweed.
Ms Blaik, who also secured a transfer to the region through her own employer, said she was "shocked” at how difficult it was to find a place, and was forced to live in a temporary holiday unit until they could find a home in Cabarita.
"We were both working or going into jobs, we had a good rental history and had never until then had a problem finding a house to rent,” Ms Blaik said.
"We were shocked at how difficult it was to find somewhere on the Tweed.”
Similar concerns are being felt across the North Coast, with the Grafton Daily Examiner last week reporting a growing rental crisis in the Clarence Valley.
An On Track spokesman said they could not comment specifically on an individual case but encouraged those at risk to contact their helpline on 1300 355 305.