Family nearly homeless
PARENTS Wayne Wilson and Shanie Cahill have hearts big enough to love and care for their five children and three foster children, but no house to fit them all in.
The extended family of 10 must vacate their four-bedroom Gympie rental home by October 15, due to the owner selling the property, with nowhere to go.
The couple say they have contacted the Department of Housing and all relevant emergency organisations, and are now in a state of despair with only 10 days until they are “out in the cold”.
Gympie Real estate agents have warned them of their “challenges” and “offered token or little assistance”, the pair say.
Advice from the Rental Tenancies Authority, they say, was to apply for an extension and allow the matter to go to court.
“This apparently, would be a ‘good thing’ because we can present our case to a judge,” Mr Wilson said.
“(However) I fail to see where paying court costs, possibly being charged (legally) and have that on our records and still be homeless if we lose is a ‘good thing’.
“Especially when there’s nowhere to go because Queensland Housing and Labor Governments consistently fail in their basic duty to their citizens... Any country that cannot provide housing for large numbers of its people – and that is the situation we have had here in Queensland for a good while – is considered a third world country.
“The fact that any Queensland family, especially one supporting foster-children and a special needs child, is without housing support is deplorable at best.”
The family need a fully fenced, four bedroom-plus house, in or near Gympie. They have already been knocked back on more than 10 houses and were told by one real estate agent that four large families were on the waiting list for suitable housing.
“The private market cannot or will not provide suitable housing, and therefore assistance is required,” Mr Wilson said. “If there are no suitable houses available then we believe that it is the Department’s responsibility to acquire one.”
Housing Minister Karen Struthers said the Queensland Government was doing “what it could to help”.
“Some Queenslanders are doing it tough... That’s why we’re delivering more than $6.5 million worth of housing in the Gympie area to build more than 26 units of accommodation.”
“Ms Cahill filed an application for social housing on Thursday last week... and her family have been placed in the very high needs category, meaning finding a home for them is a top priority,” she said.
“We’re pulling out all stops to find suitable accommodation for the family without disadvantaging other people on the social housing register of need in the Gympie area.”
The Department has offered the family a number of other services including RentConnect and interest free bond loans to help them continue to rent on the private rental market if a suitable property was identified.
If you can help the family, phone Wayne or Shanie on 5483 9082.