We’re in total rental crisis, but it feels like nobody is taking responsibility. We all need to come together and make some noise, and hold decision-makers accountable.
These days, Emily, a single mother of two young girls, lives in a refuge. She worries about their future and whether she will be able to give her daughters a stable environment and opportunities to grow and develop.
Until recently Emily’s life looked very differently. She was a house proud renter with a spotless tenancy record. That changed suddenly when her life was turned upside down by a “no grounds” eviction notice. She spent the next few months looking for affordable and appropriate housing, while trying to maintain her daughters’ routine and give them a semblance of a stable life. In the end, she was forced to pack up her home and vacate the property in the middle of a pandemic without a new house to move into.
What followed was a period of moving between temporary accommodation, sleeping in motels, and at points, a leaky caravan. This experience has taken an enormous toll on Emily. As time went on, her worries became magnified by the concern that if her family continued to be homeless, Child Protective Services could become involved and potentially separate her from her children.
I was just so emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. I’d packed up my house on my own, set up a van alone, had COVID, had to just keep trying to survive every day, keep up my kids’ morale, work out where we’d be sleeping each night.
Emily and her daughters will live in the refuge for the next few months while their search for a new home continues. As NSW is amidst a crippling rental crisis, their chances of finding a secure new home remains uncertain.
With her future unclear, Emily echoes the question posed by so many in a similar situation:
Where are governments right now? We’re in total rental crisis, but it feels like nobody is taking responsibility. We all need to come together and make some noise, and hold decision-makers accountable.