Couple locked out of housing

Tara Naylor and Lisa Edge are currently living in their car. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417081
Tara Naylor and Lisa Edge are currently living in their car. Picture: Marcelo Palacios www.communitypix.com.au d417081

Lisa Edge (30) and Tara Naylor (28) have been homeless for the past 18 months.

The couple of three years have been applying constantly for rental properties in the City of Armadale, but their applications are never accepted.

Ms Edge is on the disability support pension and Ms Naylor receives a Newstart allowance, but both recently completed a course in security and crowd control and have jobs lined up.

Previously, the couple were staying with Ms Edge’s mum, but space was limited. They stayed at a friend’s place for a while, but the living arrangement didn’t work out and they have since been homeless.

As their housing situation became increasingly desperate, the couple turned to a crisis helpline run by the Department for Child Protection and Family Support.

‘They told us they don’t take same sex couples,’ Ms Naylor said. ‘We are genuine people, who pay rent, but we still don’t get a chance.’

But retiring Department for Child Protection and Family Support director general Terry Murphy said the department did not discriminate on the basis of same sex relationships.

‘Being in a same sex relationship would not have precluded the Crisis Care Unit from providing information and referral support in relation to emergency accommodation provided by community sector organisations,’ he said.

‘When homeless individuals call the helpline for assistance seeking emergency accommodation, the Department will assess their needs and offer support services accordingly.

‘Support can include a referral to Entrypoint, a new assessment and referral service in the metropolitan area, community based homelessness accommodation and support services, or the Department may provide financial support for low cost overnight accommodation.’

Types of crises addressed by the service include child protection concerns, family and domestic violence, suicidal thoughts and homelessness.

The couple have also approached the Department of Housing, but said there was at least a three-year waiting list.

The median price for a Perth rental property is $460 per week, but Ms Naylor and Ms Edge maintain rental prices, housing availability or the fact they are not employed, is not the reason they are having trouble finding accommodation.