Crunch time looming for battling Greenfields family who could end up homeless

John Gerrard, Michelle Gerrard and Mark Low with a photo of their family in earlier years.
John Gerrard, Michelle Gerrard and Mark Low with a photo of their family in earlier years.

D Day is fast approaching for a desperate family of eight in Greenfields who could soon be homeless.

Mark Low, Michelle Gerrard and their six children aged seven to 19 have lived in the rental home for two years but were advised some six weeks ago that the owner had to sell and they had until June 26 to find alternative accommodation.

The couple has viewed dozens of rentals and contacted many relevant agencies but believe the number of children could be the reason for their knockbacks.

“We have been given bond assistance but basically there seems to be nowhere for us to go,’’ said a tearful Ms Gerrard, who is battling cervical cancer, diagnosed two years ago.

Three of their children suffer from ADHD and need regular paediatric appointments.

Two are in high school and three in primary school where the couple said the principal had gone out of her way to help them.

LJ Hooker, the Salvation Army and Silver Chain have also been more than helpful.

The whole family is suffering from high anxiety and mental anguish and their youngest children are awake half the night worrying about their futures.

“First the cancer and now it seems we will be homeless,’’ said Mr Low, who worked as a landscape gardener before becoming his wife’s full-time carer.

They said they had rented for five-and-a-half years and never fallen behind with the rent.

“I refuse to give up but we don’t know where to turn,” Ms Gerrard said.

The family desperately needs a five bedroom rental but said they could make three bedrooms work.

Mr Low is on a carer’s allowance and Ms Gerrard on a disability pension.

“It’s hard enough to make ends meet without losing our home,’’ Mr Low said.

“Everything we set up to make life good is being destroyed.”

Mr Low has a desperate contingency plan – renting a 12-man tent and generator that would be less than ideal in winter conditions.

And if it came down to that, all their worldly goods would have to be sold in a garage sale.

A spokesman for West Aus Crisis said it would meet with the couple next week in an attempt to advocate with real estate and other agencies on their behalf.