Christine knows better than most the housing affordability struggle.
The Sunshine woman has experienced it first hand, and is determined to make a difference. She is calling on the federal government to build 100,000 new public and community housing properties over the next five years.
Christine couch surfed for about eight months following a marriage breakdown.
“I didn’t know how to access services,
or where to go, so I went to a friend’s house
and me and my daughter stayed on her play room floor.
“We made up a story that we were staying at a friend’s house to use their pool in summer, because we didn’t want the stigma of being homeless.”
According to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, last year 1618 women aged 50 or above who presented at homelessness services had been couch surfing; an 83 per cent rise in four years. Older women sleeping in cars has also risen drastically, with 75 per cent more women over 50 found to be sleeping in their cars last year compared to 2012-13.
Christine and her daughter and mother are currently living in a home bought by her sister and brother-in-law that they rent to them at a manageable rate.
She said the lack of public housing options and the long waiting lists sparked her to get involved with the 100,000 Homes campaign.
“The government has not put any money into building any more public and social housing for a long time.
“It’s up to us as a community to do something about it.”
To sign the 100,000 Homes petition visit www.endthehousingcrisis.org.au