Australia’s new homeless: Hardworking mother can’t get a rental Down Under


Australia’s new homeless: Meet the hardworking mother who works six days a week but STILL can’t find a rental and is forced to sleep in a tent and a car

  • A mother has revealed her desperate struggles to find a new home for her family
  • Jessica and her son, nine, were left homeless after landlord gave them notice
  • Despite applying for more than 60 properties, she was unable to find a rental 

A hardworking mother has revealed how she was forced to sleep in a tent and in the back of her sister’s car after suddenly losing her home.

The woman, named Jessica, appeared on a Four Corners investigation into homelessness and shed light on the rental crisis that is gripping Australia.

In an emotional interview, she said her landlord suddenly kicked her out after deciding to renovate the property she was living in with her nine-year-old son. 

Jessica said she had applied for more than 60 properties since being evicted but was knocked back every time. 

The mother shared her fears about losing her son and desperately asked for ‘someone’ to help her and other low-income earners find stable housing.  

Jessica said she had applied for more than 60 properties since being evicted but was knocked back every time

‘There was no vacancies in town,’ she said as she explained her situation. ‘So it was a phone call to my sister and she works full time. She lives above a pub and children aren’t allowed above the pub but there was no choice. 

‘I slept in the back of her car that first night, and my son slept upstairs. It was scary to not know what’s going to happen the next day. 

‘I paid for my own accommodation out in the caravan park. It’s the cheapest place I could get a cabin. That’s $110 a night and that’s the cheapest in town.’

Jessica was entitled to 28 days of crisis accommodation after losing her flat but, despite applying for 10 properties a week, she was unable to find a new rental. 

This led to her being left homeless and living in a caravan park – though she admitted she couldn’t afford to carry on the arrangement. 

‘Essentially, my son will have to go with my sister. I’m in the back of her car, but if not, I’ve got a tent to sleep in. That’s scary.

‘I don’t want to lose my boy. A simple thing of not being able to house my son means I could lose him and that’s not that’s not fair when I raised him solely.

Jessica was entitled to 28 days of crisis accommodation after losing her flat but, despite applying for 10 properties a week, she was unable to find a new rental

Jessica was entitled to 28 days of crisis accommodation after losing her flat but, despite applying for 10 properties a week, she was unable to find a new rental

The mother shared her fears about losing her son and desperately asked for 'someone' to help her and other low income earners find stable housing

The mother shared her fears about losing her son and desperately asked for ‘someone’ to help her and other low income earners find stable housing

‘To work so hard and to get so far and to have everything gone from underneath you.

‘Not for my own choices. Not because you’re a bad mum. No. It’s because there is no housing. You go through every avenue to try and you get nothing.’

The mother called on Anthony Albanese or anyone to help her and other low income earners.  

‘Help us, help us do something. Help the low-income earners and the unemployed to get good stable housing.

‘Just help us. We need help. Someone needs to do something for us.’

Jessica’s story is the latest example of the growing rental crisis that is gripping Australia. 

This photo of a crowded open inspection in Bondi (pictured) sums up Sydney's dire rental crisis, where desperate  tenants are competing for properties

This photo of a crowded open inspection in Bondi (pictured) sums up Sydney’s dire rental crisis, where desperate  tenants are competing for properties

A long line of would-be renters snakes down the side-path of a Sydney street waiting to see a $700 per week two-bedroom rental property in the eastern suburb of Clovelly

A long line of would-be renters snakes down the side-path of a Sydney street waiting to see a $700 per week two-bedroom rental property in the eastern suburb of Clovelly

On average, rents have soared 10.3 per cent in Australia since the start of 2022 with a low supply of housing and the reopening of borders contributing to the squeeze. 

The national rental vacancy rate is at a record low 0.9 per cent, according to Domain research data.

According to research firm PropTrack at the start of 2020 there were 41.8 per cent of advertised rentals on realestate.com.au under $400-a-week across Australia. 

But by September this year that figure had dropped to just 19.3 per cent.  

Capital city rental listings under $400 per week was just 16.4 per cent in September compared to 36.1 per cent in March 2020.

In Sydney, weekly rental prices rose by an average of 10 per cent year-on-year in the September quarter, with the median house rent climbing to $640 and the median unit rent rising to $520 per week.

Last week, it was revealed that landlords and agents in some regions are now deciding who gets a property based on ‘rent-bidding’ where hopefuls offer extra cash or pay rent months ahead to secure a home.

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