THE LACK of rental properties in the area has left many families in the community homeless.
Tarryn Griffin, a business owner and a mother of two kids, left her previous rental property, in March, and, since then, she hasn’t been able to find a home to live in.
“After weeks of staying at friends’ houses…we finally managed to get a cabin in a caravan park out of town so, since May, we have been renting here,” she said.
Her previous real estate agent has refused to give her a reference letter to support her application, which, in turn, makes it even harder for her to get rental accommodation in such a competitive arena.
“We are still applying for rentals in town but there is just literally nothing I can do without a reference letter from my previous real estate agent,” Ms Griffin said.
Adding to the problem, the few rental accommodations available in town are too expensive for her to afford.
“The accommodations that are available are ridiculously expensive, you know single parents, there is no way they can do it on their own, even with two parents working, they are still going to be struggling,” Ms Griffin said.
Ms Griffin had tried everything possible she could think of, she had contacted several local organisations to help her, such as the Neighbourhood Centre and Whitsunday Housing.
“Housing Whitsunday has a waiting list of six months, and we just have to wait for someone to move.” Ms Griffin said.
Unfortunately, even if the organisations are in the frontline, listening and finding solutions, they don’t have the resources or infrastructure to help people in these situations.
“People would go to Whitsunday Housing or Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre because they’re your local options but we don’t have the investment or the resources and capacity to support people in that situation,” Whitsunday Neighborhood Centre’s Rebecca Woods said.
“It is nothing for real estate agents to have 45 applications sitting on the email before they’ve even finished the open home for the property, so It’s a very competitive market and has contributed to locals being without shelter, without a home, and that means they live in caravans.”