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mishym

Australian Family of 11 Homeless

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mishym

Not sure if you have seen this on the news in QLD or read the blog already... this Australian family of 11 (2 Adults & 9 Children) are 'homeless' - well without a permanent place of residence.

 

A friend posted the link to the Blog and Letter sent to politicians and I read with interest, being that homelessness is a cause I hold very close to my heart.

 

What do you think? What would you do? Is this about showing compassion, giving empathy and finding them a home that is suitable to their every need or do you think that taking up short term options such as the place at Gympie - (if only until the husband finds adequate and stable employment in the area they desire), biding them time so to speak to find suitable accommodation in the area they need? The issue is a whole lot more complex than what I have just written, so have a read and see what you think?

 

Perhaps there is an EB member who has an investment property available for this family in the Sunshine Coast Area which is where they state they need to be?

 

Open Letter to Prime Minister, et all

 

Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere... I did search but could not see anything recent.

 

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Mrs.Brown

Im guessing that a big part of the families difficulty in finding rental accomodation thru an agency is because of the previous arrears in rent. I also know that large families are indeed disriminated againts when it comes to finding rental, even tho the law doesnt allow this.

 

DP and I came across this exact thing years ago when we began having regular contact with his 3 children. I would put down on the application that we had 6 kids, altho it was only 3 kids 12 days of 14. No luck in getting a house.

 

As soon as I put down only 3 kids and didnt mention the step kids, we had a house!!

 

I do hope the family finds a house soon, but with the arrears, Im not sure how they will go, I think arrears are kept on a register for some time. And even if the family became in rental arrears because of medical bills, agents dont take into account personal circumstances.

 

Edited to add - just re read her letter and whilst I think her humanitarium work should be commended, I think getting housing and having her childrens medical needs attended to should be a priority now. Once that and the finances are sorted, Im sure her work helping orphans can go ahead again

 

And yes, I think moving to Gympie is a good start. Away from the camper trailer accomodation and also a good way to build up your rating again with rent payments/getting started in government housing

Edited by libra40

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Mrs.Brown

Oh, I have a question for other EB'rs. If you have a child with a medical condition, and are paying rent/mortgage, will practioners allow you to pay these medical costs off? Im wondering as if you have higher costs for your children and are able to pay them off, then you can pay your rent or mortgage as the 1st thing you pay each week.

 

Even tho we have a good landlord, I know that if my child had medical expenses he would be sympathetic, but I would still need to maintain my weekly rent payments as the priority payment, then try and work something out with the medical bills. Your children have to have a roof over their heads.

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hawkchick

This is so sad and yes, can happen to anybody. I think alot of Aussies are only a few steps away from being homeless if you think about it. Although they probably spend more efforts on making sure their rent is paid, than spending all their energies on overseas charitable causes.

 

Hopefully something will come of this open letter idea, but unfortunately even if they get 'saved' from their predicament there will still be 100,000 others without such luck.

 

ETA: I don't think it's surprising that landlords are hesitant to rent their investment properties to people who did not keep up with their rental payments at their last premises. People often perceive landlords as mega wealthy, heartless people - but the reality is alot of investment properties are owned by Mum and Dad investors who struggle to pay the mortgages on these properties as well as the home they're living in. To even go one week without rent being paid is a burden.

But you would think the govt could find something suitable for them (mind you, the waiting list for public housing is just terrible)

Edited by Blish

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Guest *alpharuby*

libra40 most medical practitioners would consider a payment plan if necessary.

 

It's a sad story but one borne by choices.

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Mrs.Brown

I have to agree with you alpharuby

 

It is very sad, I wish the family all the best in finding a house, but you have to pay your rent 1st and foremost. The children need suitable acoomodation.

 

There are countless families out there, and here on EB, who altho may not have 9 children but have had to pay for medical bills for their children, but still manage to put a roof over their heads.

 

And altho they have 9 children, Im sure they would have a HCC being unemployed. Plus family payments for the children and some form of payment for the kids with the medical problems. I fully understand that feeding, educating and clothing the children will be a big expense but considering their unemployment status, Im sure medical practioners would allow their bills to be done via a payment plan.

 

Im not being harsh on the family, but fact is fact. You MUST pay your rent. That is the very 1st thing that should come out of your pay/benefit. You then work out payment plans for the other expenses.

 

And again, not being harsh but there are other families out there, that havnt been in rent arrears but are victims of a landlord selling the house, that are living in cars. They dont even have a tent or camper. What about them!!

Edited by libra40

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haventhadenoughat6
Oh, I have a question for other EB'rs. If you have a child with a medical condition, and are paying rent/mortgage, will practioners allow you to pay these medical costs off? Im wondering as if you have higher costs for your children and are able to pay them off, then you can pay your rent or mortgage as the 1st thing you pay each week.

 

I have 2 children who see doctors and specialist's regulary some of them are great and bulk bill others let you pay them off and some want their money straight away.

 

We have often (especially the last few months) had to juggle around bills due to doctor app's and tests that havent been covered and have come up urgently . But our rent is always paid first as i know having 7 kids trying to find a new place would be horrid even as much as we hate our house and the owner who doesnt like to fix things we cant afford to move :(

 

Kerry

 

 

 

 

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Guest ~aine~

I read about this the other day, and had a big argument with DP about it!

 

The way I see it is that the problem is not lack of $$, but the fact that they cannot actually get a rental property due to the size of their family. Surely with 9 kids they'd be getting enough parenting payment and FTB to cover the costs, so it just seems that no one will give them a chance.

 

That I do find sad, and I hope they find somewhere soon!

 

 

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Green Gummy Bear

I feel they're homeless by choice. If they wanted a home they'd move to Gympie. Sure it may take her DH longer to find work but beggars can't be choosers.

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Mrs.Brown

DH was just saying he is sure Gympie has an industrial area there. He could be wrong, but if there is, then I would think some work may crop up at sometime. Here is hoping tho.

 

I wonder if the parents are wanting a bit too much, considering their circumstances.

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Guest ~aine~

Is it possible (and I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing) that with the mother's interest in social causes etc. that they're using the current situation to increase awareness rather than biting the bullet and moving to another area?

 

 

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ArieleMoonfire

I've been following this via Cate's Twitter feed. Such a tragic situation. I cannot comprehend the mentality of those who think they are homeless 'by choice' :no: Why should a family, including special needs children who require services where the family has lived and has been established be forced to uproot? Just because they have 9 kids. The dept. of housing regulations of no less than 5 bedrooms are absurd-they think it's better to sleep in a tent?!!

 

The homelessness situation in this country is getting worse and worse. This could happen to anyone. I am grateful we have family support available should we ever find ourselves in this position. Not everyone does. I am constantly amazed at the lack of compassion some people are capable of.

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Banana Pancakes

Wow, what a well written letter.

 

Im really sorry to hear that the family is homeless. Its sobering to think that a few bad choices and ones family could end up living on the streets.

 

Ive never been to Gympie but if it meant that my children had a roof over their heads I would move there in a heartbeat.

 

I hope that this story has a happy ending.

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jfl

She says in her letter to the PM that the family have never taken any assistance, paid their own way etc. Does this means she has been sending the very substantial child benefits she would receive for nine children back to the Commonwealth? I don't think so.

 

Wanting to save the world is commendable, but you need to look after your own family first.

 

I feel sorry for the kids, but think she is one of those people who only see their way of doing things, their one way, as an option.

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Guest *alpharuby*

It does read as though she's trying to make some kind of point. For the sake of the family's wellbeing they could move to Gympie. There are always better options than living in a tent. It's not lacking compassion or even empathy to point out the bloody obvious.

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jlydia

There are times you just have to suck it up and do what's best for your family. Providing them with a roof, walls and an indoor toilet would be best.

 

 

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sassymummy

I read this a few days ago and have been thinking about it since.

 

I cannot understand why, even if just for now, they don't move to Gympie? Even just Mum and Kids for now... while Dad looks for work elsewhere.

 

For those who don't know anything about Gympie - it's near the Sunshine Coast in Qld, and it's a pretty rural countryside type of place. Farms and the like mostly.

 

I can see why getting work there would be a problem, but honestly - isn't making sure the kids are housed properly priority 1?

 

I do agree that there shouldn't be such stupid restrictions that the Department of Housing puts on families, when the alternative is far worse... but until that is ammended, the family need to do what they need to do. It might not be FAIR that they have to up and move to Gympie, but a lot of things in life aren't fair. In Gympie, they'll have a home.

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Maple Leaf

They need to leave the sunshine coast. The waiting list for public housing is 10 years here and that is just for a basic house, not one that would house 11 people.

 

They need to move to another area simple as that. The Sunshine Coast is a very expensive area to live in, and it's weird in how there is work at times during the tourist season but then it dies away again.

 

It is the one place I would NOT live if I was unemployed, needing help financially and/or needing a sympathetic landlord. Rents are very high here as well. A 4 bedroom house is $450/week in your average suburb. They need to face facts that they can't afford to live here.

 

And yes, I live on the coast, and if DH didn't have a job, we wouldn't be here that's for sure!

 

ETA: and it's gympie for goodness sakes! Not alaska! I think gympie is pretty nice actually.

Edited by Canadiangirl

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Feral-Lausii

Simple really. Move to Gympie. If thats where there is a roof over their heads, well go. Maybe they might learn to put rent first next time. Especially with that many children and knowing the difficulties they would face finding another home. I know how hard it is with just 4, and just had my fifth. I make damn sure my rent is top priority.

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tothebeach

I missed the bit in the article about Gympie. I feel for them but they do seem to have options, which they are not taking.

 

With 9 children, they must have known how hard it would be to secure housing, so paying their rent should have been a priority. Not sure if income is an issue but she seems very articulate. Perhaps it's time to use those skills to support her family, rather than a cause.

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TaiTai

honestly my first thougt reading that article was that here is someone angling for her own documentary..... the whole thing smacks of self promotion.

 

If that were me, my first priority would be the health and safety of my children If I were offered a house in Gympie (or anywhere else for that matter) I would take it in a heartbeat. I know my DH would be willing to stay behind and move wherever and work at whatever in order to keep the family afloat . I am pretty sure most other people would do the same.

 

 

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Mianta

As awful as it sounds and I am expecting a bit of backlash, but I can't have much sympathy for them. They have been offered accomodation in another part of QLD, which, though is not as fabulous as sunny, coastal Maroochydore, has the ability to allow this family to rebuild their lives and carry on with their humantarian efforts whilst having a roof over their heads.

 

Why should the government "get off their asses" and find them suitable, affordable accomodation in their desired location?

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amour de mère

I think i agree with you bellygood.

I found myself feeling very sorry for the family for the first half of the letter and then shaking my head at the second half.

 

Last year we forgot to go in and resign our lease when it was coming up for renewal. The lease expired and the landlord decided they wanted the property for themselves. We literally had no where to live due to booming work in our town so rentals were filled to the brim.

We just had to suck it up and find a solution. I took the kids and flew to Tasmania to stay with family for a month while DP stayed in a guy from works dingy spare room until a property became available.

Sure it was hard being sepparated but it was just what we had to do.

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ArieleMoonfire

I don't know where Gympie is-is it far from services they would need with an autistic child, and another child with an anxiety disorder? Children with both these conditions would NOT handle being uprooted from the stable school environment they know very well. Perhaps she might be using this as a bit of a media attention grabber-the fact remains there ARE families living like this, many that we have no idea about because they don't know how to navigate the media and social networking sites. Those families go unnoticed. People shouldn't be forced to move far away from their support systems. The public housing situation in Australia is a joke.

Edited by Ariele

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