Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

'PLEASE GIVE ME A GO' Father Desperate to Find a Rental; Family Struggling to Break into Rental Market

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

'PLEASE GIVE ME A GO' Father Desperate to Find a Rental; Family Struggling to Break into Rental Market

Article excerpt

Byline: Francis Witsenhuysen Francis.Witsenhuysen@northernstar.com.au

A SINGLE father with two young daughters is pleading for help after failing to secure a rental property in Casino for more than a year.

Casino local Dwayne Townsend has been pro actively applying for rental properties for himself and daughters Ebony, 9, and Niquetta, 10, through "all of the real estate agencies in Casino," and believes the property owners are rejecting him because he is receiving a disability pension, parenting payments and is not working.

"I can't work," he said.

"I broke my leg badly in an accident and suffer from severe osteo arthritis and gout ... I'm pretty much buggered.

"I've been trying for so long, I just wish someone would give us a chance."

Mr Townsend said he had previously rented a property through PRD Nationwide Casino for five and a half years and had good rental references, but at times, agents would tell him he did not meet the application criteria.

"It's because of the rental shortage in this town," he said.

"It's also because rent is that dear here, but with my payments combined I can afford the rent.

"But it's also because I'm a single dad on disability...I get so down and depressed about it and just think I'm worthless."

Mr Townsend and his daughters have been staying with his mother's partner in Casino while he looks for accommodation.

"We can't stay here much longer, we've been here long enough and mum's not real well," he said.

"I don't know what we'll do when we do have to leave."

Mr Townsend said he had explored all of the avenues in terms of government support and has been placed on waiting lists for both government housing assistance and North Coast Community Housing.

"They don't know how long the wait is for both, but we've moved up the list for housing assistance," he said.

He pleaded for anyone with a private vacant or upcoming rental property to give him "a break". …

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