Housing shortage: 150 home inspections to jag a rental
JOHN Hunt thought he would be sleeping on the streets this week.
Mr Hunt has spent the past two months searching for a rental property after being told he would not be able to renew the lease at his Currimundi home.
As if finding an affordable rental on the Sunshine Coast is not hard enough, his house hunt was made even more difficult because he needs a residence that is wheelchair accessible and can accommodate his two companion dogs.
On the eve of eviction this week, he got a phone call that changed his Christmas.
"I got a house - that's Christmas taken care of for me," he said.
Mr Hunt will move this weekend to a rental at Beerwah which he can make wheelchair-friendly through the use of portable ramps.
He had been forced to look for somewhere else to live because his landlord required his current house for use by a relative.
He said he was fortunate that his letting agent, aware of his predicament, had allowed him enough leeway on vacating the property by the due date of Tuesday.
"I would have been out on the street," he said.
On a disability pension, Mr Hunt is part of a group of people finding it increasingly difficult to rent on the Coast because their fixed incomes have not risen at the same rate as rents.
Mr Hunt estimated he looked at 150 houses over two months, of which about 20 were suitable.
He was critical of home owners and letting agents who seemed oblivious to the requirements of disabled potential tenants such as himself.
"It's not the housing crisis, it's people with no common sense - people sending me out to houses with stairs and houses I can't fit into in a wheelchair, bathrooms I can't fit into," he said.
His house hunting gave him an insight into the shortage of affordable housing on the Sunshine Coast.
"It's just so scary. Some of the people I talked to were living in their cars. Something needs to be done. People need to know about it, I think," he said.