Rental market puts squeeze on families

A FAMILY of seven may be forced to live in their car as Coffs Harbour's traditionally tight rental market claims yet another victim.

Up until the end of August Anne McGlen-McLeod, partner Nathan Keogh and their five children aged between eight and one years, were living in a house in Bellingen.

However, when the house sold, the family found themselves at the mercy of a rental market with low supply and high demand.

But Anne claims the reason her family can't rent a property is due to their five children.

“We're hitting nothing but dead ends and I believe it's because people think we have too many children,” Anne said.

“I was even filling out an application at a real estate agent who told me not to bother because I had five children.”

Despite being employed, having a tenancy guarantee from Housing NSW and paying a past TICA debt, Anne feels 'railroaded' by real estate agents.

“You go to one real estate who will tell you to go to another, who tells you to go to another,” she said.

“It's stressful, it's difficult - my children are distraught at not having a house any more.”

Coffs Harbour Accommodation Brokerage and Housing Support Service co-ordinator Meena Johnson said it is harder to rent a property if you have kids, but other issues have just as much bearing.

“The rental market is so tight in Coffs Harbour due to the low supply of affordable housing - sometimes there's up to 30 people applying for the one property,” Ms Johnson said.

Anne said the family is staying in a motel for the moment but if a property doesn't come up soon they'll 'probably be living in the car'.

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