Pensioners in survival fight
WARWICK resident Darilyn Lee struggles to pay rent for her two-bedroom unit, but says there aren’t any one bedroom units in Warwick to move to.
The pensioner says increased costs of living haven’t been offset by an increase to rent assistance in three years.
“My rent’s gone up about $120 to $170 over the last three years, but rent assistance hasn’t,” she said.
“It’s very hard to find one-bedroom units anywhere. You see advertisements for retirement villas, but they all have two or three bedrooms.”
Miss Lee said it would help if she could sub-let a room to a trusted family member or friend, but said rental leases prevented her from doing so.
If another person could live under the same roof, she argued, it would help her feel safer.
“It’s not right for many of us (pensioners) to live alone,” she said.
“I know of one lady who lived by herself and had a fall and couldn’t get up. She wasn’t found for a whole weekend.”
On top of rental pressures, Miss Lee said there were increases in taxi and bus fares, phone line rentals, groceries and power bills to deal with.
So bad was the lack of government support, Miss Lee said she expected to see an increase in suicides among the older generation soon.
“A lot of pensioners are going to get a big shock when they realise (in a couple of months),” she said.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of them and some of the people who don’t keep up to date with it all, didn’t even know (we won’t get an increase).”