Flood survivor gets help with new housing
- 4 April 2022 10:02AM
A young mother whose rental unit in Brisbane’s south was washed out by flooding has been helped into a new home, after losing everything in the 2022 South East Queensland rain event.
“I just broke down crying when I saw my property—there was a thick layer of brown mud over everything,” says Sally*, a third-year Bachelor of Counselling student.
“The water reached the ceiling and turned all my furniture upside down. There were clothes and broken glass scattered everywhere. My laptop with all my university work was destroyed and so were my son’s baby photos.”
Sally says she tried looking for a new rental but was knocked back because she couldn’t afford the rent and no one wanted to lease a property to someone with a child.
She visited her local Community Recovery Hub, who turned her situation around because they connected her to recovery grant funding, temporary motel accommodation and her local Housing Service Centre (HSC).
“My real estate agent gave me an excellent reference and offered me a property in another part of town. I couldn’t afford the rent, but the HSC helped me access a rental subsidy to cover what I couldn’t afford and also purchase new furniture.”
Sally’s rental subsidy was provided through the Housing Employment Program—a Queensland Government initiative that assists people in housing need who are studying or working.
Sally was also eligible for the government’s Regional Discretionary Fund, which helps people overcome barriers to renting in the private market.
The fund replaced all the big items of furniture Sally had lost and couldn’t afford to buy, like white goods, a vacuum, new beds and a dining table. Now she feels nothing but relief when she thinks about her housing situation.
“The new unit is close to shops, a park and the train station and it has a yard where my son can play. He absolutely loves it. I feel safe here. I’ll also be doing my university placement nearby.”
Through the generosity of local charities and friends, Sally also received gift cards and donations to help replace some of her possessions and clothing. She is moving on with her life and looking forward to the future.
“It’s sad that we’ve lost what we have. But I’m okay and my son is okay. I’m looking forward to getting through this year and starting work.”
Learn more about Queensland’s housing assistance.
*Not her real name.