Inside family’s last option for home
A family of five have been living out of a shed for more than 18 months after they were unable to find a new home in the hostile rental market.
Across the country, renters are reporting extraordinary pressure to keep a roof over the head as supply dwindles, demand soars and prices creep higher.
Jesse Schaufler, 32, and her partner Kirrin Oliver, 32, had to make the difficult decision 18 months ago to move their three boys under the age of 12 into a shed.
They were evicted from their Newcastle home almost two years ago under a no-fault clause because the landlord wanted to move a relative into the property.
They never expected they would still be without a permanent home.
The couple applied for more than 200 properties and faced countless rejections before they made the impossible decision to move their three kids into the shed.
“It’s very hard,” Ms Shaufler told Today on Monday.
“You try not to get too comfortable because you think it’s not going to be much longer, but then more days and more weeks have gone by, more months, and it’s pretty hard.”
Local authorities have assessed the family as “high priority homeless” after visiting the property and noting their living conditions, according to The Courier-Mail.
Mr Oliver earns up to $1300 a week working at a factory, while Ms Schaufler earns about $300 as a cleaner.
They are searching for a property priced at about $550 a week, but say demand has blocked them from getting in the door.
The three-by-five metre metal shed is stacked full with their possessions, a makeshift kitchen, and mattresses for each of the family members.
“I don’t know what to hope for,” Ms Schaufler said.
“Just a safe and warm space for the kids, somewhere where they can be comfortable and we can be comfortable.”
The family are dreading staying in the shed for another winter and are desperate to provide their children with a better place to live.
“When it’s cold and when it’s hot it’s not comfortable,” she said.