Rental crisis leaves family out on the streets
A Townsville family of five have been left homeless and desperate after they were forced to leave the rented house where they lived, exposing the rental crisis that is gripping the city.
Heather Molder and her four children, aged 17, 15, 12 and 10, had lived in their North Shore home for the past five years.
But after being told they had to find a new residence, the family has been unable to find a property despite two months of searching.
"I've been to the housing department, RentConnect, there is nothing," Ms Molder, 49, said.
"Housing said they have put me on the list. Every house I've applied for I've been unsuccessful and no one will say why.
"The real estate gave us a good reference. I have always paid my rent on time.
"The kids and I are now out on the bloody streets. We don't know what to do.
"It's ridiculous, beyond a joke."
The family also includes three cats and a dog. Ms Molder said the pets may have cost them being approved for properties.
"No one is willing to take us because we have the animals. Even emergency housing," she said.
"They are part of our family and I don't want to hurt my family.
"I am not prepared to break my daughters' and my sons' heart and give up the animals.
"I can't surrender them, I'm just a single mum. I don't have the money. Kennels are $500 a week."
A relative has taken the family temporarily into their home at Currajong but an emotional Ms Molder is frightened the situation may spiral into her worst nightmare.
"There's a big chance I could lose my kids because of this, because I can't put a roof over their head.
"I'm hanging on to God's good grace. I've tried everything, there's nothing else I can do. It's just not fair."
Explore Property principal Santo Spinella said Townsville was in the midst of a severe rental shortage.
"It's extremely tight - levels I've never seen before," Mr Spinella said.
"It's been tightening up for the best part of three months. A place in Burdell had 60 applicants within three days, it's just out of this world."
Mr Spinella warned the market was set to get even worse before improving.
"We're coming into our busiest period," he said. "January-February is always our busiest time because of Townsville's transient population.
"I can't see it easing off until the middle of the first quarter next year."
Mr Spinella said those looking needed to have their finger on the pulse to ensure they didn't miss out.
"What I tell everyone is be prepared. Be online daily and apply for places straight away, even if you're yet to inspect it.
"You should also find an agent who is willing to work with you."
Originally published as Rental crisis leaves family out on the streets