Melanie Richardson’s fear that she might end up living in a car with her two autistic children in central Queensland is never far from mind.
The mother of two rents a home in the Gladstone suburb of Tannum Sands through the federal government’s National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which provides subsidised rentals to people on lower incomes.
The scheme was set up by the former federal Labor government in 2008, but axed by the former Liberal government in 2014, with the last subsidised properties set to exit the scheme in 2026.
“We did find out that the NRAS program was ending not through our real estate agent, but through talking to neighbours,” Ms Richardson said.
In recent months, the three-bedroom duplex she rents through the scheme has increased from $200 a week to $280 a week.
The home is set to exit the scheme next year, when it will then increase to full market value, which Ms Richardson said could be up to $430 a week.
“Being on a carer’s pension as my source of income, my rent is currently about 50 per cent of my income,” the 41-year-old said.
“So with travel to my children’s paediatrician appointments and therapies, which can cost $400 a session, it’s really, really tough … especially with cost-of-living increases.
“Fruit and vegetables have become a luxury item.”
Ms Richardson added that social housing was not an alternative for her due to long waitlists.
Article source msn.com