‘We’ve been homeless since she was born – my milk has dwindled from stress’

A breastfeeding mother has been made homeless as a result of Queensland’s housing crisis. Apolonia is urgently attempting to nurse her three-month-old baby in a single bed, whereas her husband Phillip and their five-year-old daughter must sleep on the floor.

This gloomy image between four crowded walls has been the Queensland family’s life since Aurora was just two weeks old, when they were made homeless when their last tenancy fell through.

The family is currently living out of suitcases and spending their days standing with hundreds of other people in the hope of securing a rental property in Queensland. Needless to say, Apolonia’s mental health is suffering as a result of their awful position.

She says through tears that she hasn’t been able to bond with her infant, and she has gotten agitated. Her milk production has dropped, and she had to resort to medications to try to get it going again.

To make this situation worse, Apolonia and Philip share custody of two 12-year-old kids from prior relationships, whom they have been obliged to leave with the other parents 107 kilometers away since getting them to school is difficult.

The distraught mother explains, she is at a loss for words. She feels terrified, anxious, and angry. She has nothing left to give her children, and all she has is going into trying to locate a house.

They were forced to leave their former rental property and are now living in one room of a relative’s house in Caboolture, caught up in Queensland’s catastrophic rental crisis.

They are now living out of one suitcase apiece after selling all they possess since they had nowhere to keep their belongings and required the money for a deposit on a new rental apartment.

The mother continues, her five-year-old, Liliana, was clutching it all and screaming at garage sales since she wanted to keep it all. Things she had recently received for her birthday and Christmas. Seeing her like this makes this mom the saddest she has ever been. They have managed to keep their seven-year-old puppy, but if/when she has to go, it’ll destroy her daughter – she cries about it every day.

Apolonia, a previous property manager, said she never expected to be in such a scenario when they started looking for a new rental residence three months ago.

She adds that she understood it would be difficult when they initially lost their property, but she had no idea it would be this horrible. She assumed people who didn’t receive houses were bad renters, but it’s everyone.

She can’t think what it would be like if they had to sleep in a tent or a van with kids, as many people do – albeit not having a house is terrifying.

Liliana, their five-year-old daughter, has been forced to miss school until they know where they will be living, and they are afraid that the Department of Education may show up at their door.

Apolonia and Philip began a successful business last year producing personalized children’s play equipment, but due to a lack of work, they had to stop it, which is now affecting their income.

Despite applying for hundreds of properties, looking on real estate websites and Facebook groups on a regular basis, and attending at least 10 open houses every day, none of their applications were approved.

The family is searching from Toowoomba to the Northern Rivers, Logan, the Gold Coast, Caboolture, Bribie Island, Ipswich, Brisbane, and Beenleigh.

She explained that they literally searched everywhere. They don’t care where they purchase a house as long as they are able to see their kids on weekends.

Apolonia has contacted many Facebook groups, asking for guidance or assistance, as well as if there is anyone else looking who would wish to join their efforts and boost their opportunities.

She continues, real estate salespeople are cold, and everything is done by text or email. It’s simply demoralizing. Sometimes you wonder why you bother going looking. She has spent hours filling out applications, trying to be as personal as possible, and has written a page informing them about their family and the situation.

Annastacia Palaszczuk posted last week that over 100 people are relocating to Queensland every day, yet they are struggling since affordability is increasing.

One realtor told them it was because of Melbourne folks migrating up who can afford to offer more than the asking price.

A representative for the Real Estate Institute of Queensland anecdotally stated that they are witnessing a big number of individuals coming up to open listings and that it was clearly a tight market across Queensland.

The representative stated that there is a substantial scarcity. In Queensland, privately held properties are heavily relied upon for renting. They can’t keep up with demand.

It’s a combination of factors, including interstate movement, but also a dynamic shift in individuals working from home, which is causing them to stay in rentals for longer than usual due to the uncertain climate. They anticipate that these conditions will persist for the majority of the year.

According to the representative, there have been reports of people bidding above the asking amount in order to obtain a house.

The family was almost forced to forsake their older children and go to New Zealand to live with Philip’s relatives; but, they were aided at the last minute by family members as they continue to look for a property they can call home.


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