Rent crisis: Fear of homelessness is an ever-present spectre for many people on the Coffs Coast, says Sharyn.
Rent crisis: Fear of homelessness is an ever-present spectre for many people on the Coffs Coast, says Sharyn.

Coffs families in rent crisis

SHARYN Stubbs has just three days a week to help families at risk of homelessness in an area bigger than Bali.

The emergency relief caseworker for housing with the Salvation Army, for the region between Yamba and Nambucca Heads, Ms Stubbs has almost 70 families on her books, more than 40 of them on the Coffs Coast.

Of those, she said less than five were families buying their own homes and in mortgage stress and the rest were families renting accommodation, either privately or through Housing NSW.

“Housing affordability is getting worse because of the (Pacific Highway) roadworks,” she said.

“No houses are being built for rent; the guys building the highway come in, the prices go up and they don’t go down.”

She said the most common reason for families teetering on the brink of losing their homes was something happening which saw them fall behind with the rent and then be unable to make up the arrears.

“Loss of a job; loss of Centrelink payments for a while, illness in the family – a lot of jobs are casual,” Ms Stubbs said.

While her position has been funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs through the Regional Homelessness Action Plan, her position ends in June.



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