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Angie’s seeking a housing angel for her family

BOXING DAY: Samara and her mother Angie Esau are packing up ready for moving out tomorrow. Photo: Leigh Jensen
BOXING DAY: Samara and her mother Angie Esau are packing up ready for moving out tomorrow. Photo: Leigh Jensen Leigh Jensen

SINGLE mum Angie Esau has spent the week boxing up her family's possessions in order to move out of her rental house tomorrow, but still doesn't know where she and her family will go.

A lack of suitable, affordable housing options in Grafton have left them facing the prospect of homelessness.

And according to a rental affordability snapshot released recently by Anglicare Australia, more people in the region may be faced with similar situations in coming months.

Ms Esau said she was first told that she, her three young children and the family dog would have to vacate their private rental property in Clarence St when it was repossessed by the bank recently.

She didn't worry too much until she realised how few rental houses were suited to her family's needs and how much competition there was.

Ms Esau has applied for six rental houses been knocked back on all of them.

With the deadline to leave the house less than 24 hours away, she was now hoping for a miracle.

"When you keep getting knocked back it's just another kick in the guts," she said.

"Every night I pray that we'll find something."

Anglicare's Rental Affordability Snapshot released in April showed the number of affordable houses for people on low incomes to rent in the Clarence Valley had fallen by 11% in the past year.

For the purposes of the study, an affordable rental is one that takes up less than 30% of household income.

Comparison with previous snapshots revealed the mismatch between the amount of housing available and the number of people who need it most was getting worse.

Affordability has proved to be one of the biggest hurdles in Ms Esau's search to find secure housing in the region, with a disability pension of just over $700 a fortnight her primary source of income.

Her 9-year-old daughter's disability has also limited their options.

If the family don't find anything this weekend, they will have temporary accommodation with Ms Esau's parents in Yamba, but she is concerned it won't be viable for long as all three of her children attend school in Grafton.

"We could stay with them for a bit but it's not an ideal situation," she said.

"We need something more stable. Miracles do happen though, I know they do."

Topics:  grafton housing crisis rental affordability



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