A single Hobart mother of three is filled with fear that her family might end up living in their car due to the rising cost of living and the uncertain rental market.
Elisha Wright says she has been on the government’s Rapid Rehousing waitlist for nearly two years and is struggling to meet the cost of rent, food, medical expenses and power bills.
She often goes hungry so her children can eat and can only occasionally afford to heat their home during winter.
“Most nights, I would rather choose to pay for food for my children and go hungry myself,” Wright said.
“It’s feed the children first, they come first – and if it go without, I go without.”
Wright relies on a disability pension to survive and receives no additional assistance, ‘making it difficult to handle’ unexpected expenses like medical problems or car repairs.
“I’m facing homelessness because the uncertainty of renting, I don’t know if my lease will be renewed or not,” she said.
“And if it is renewed it’s only going to be up, the rent increase is going to be increased and I will not be able to afford that.”
“I don’t know what to do in a circumstance with my three children. It’s gotten to the point where I will be living in my car with my children, hungry and homeless.”
The Tasmanian government has urged Wright to reestablish contact with Housing Connect to explore available assistance, while Minister for Housing and Construction Nic Street said the government is working to bring more housing online but could not comment on specific cases.
Opposition leader Rebecca White acknowledged that Wright’s story is unfortunately not unique, as many Tasmanians are grappling with ‘exorbitant power bills and skyrocketing private rents’.