Single mother and her two children left out in the cold
DISTRAUGHT single mother Belinda Yule and her children Chelsea, 5, and Lachlan, 3 have been forced into a second-hand tent at the Chinchilla Showgrounds after being unable to find an affordable home to rent in town.
Ms Yule was left with no option but to move her children, dogs and the entire contents of her home to the makeshift campsite when her previous rental lease ended.
The young mother had found a new home for her family but two days before they were to move in the owner of the new house withdrew the offer.
With every gust of wind, the flimsy tarpaulin acting as a shelter for their camp is blown across the showgrounds leaving the family to shiver through another bitterly cold night before the morning school run.
Ms Yule and her family are the face of the housing crisis that is gripping the region - a situation that needs to be addressed by local and state governments through the Western Downs draft planning scheme.
Ms Yule said she was frustrated with the lack of support she received from local real estate agencies and saw no end in sight for her dismal living arrangements.
"It's us little people getting stomped on ... no one should be faced with living on the streets with two kids," she said.
Unfortunately, the Yules are not alone and the Western Downs is no closer to an affordable housing solution after the State Government failed to recognise the area as a priority, deeming it ineligible for National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) incentives.
Mayor Ray Brown said this was unacceptable and created a real concern for families like the Yules.
"No community can survive running with rentals at $700 a week," Cr Brown said.
The problem areas are Chinchilla, Miles and Wandoan.