A family has been left stranded, homeless, and forced to live out of their Kia Carnival with nothing but the clothes on their back because of a declining rental market in the Garden City.

Olive Louise Carkeek and her family were left homeless for nine months after being asked to leave her rental property in January this year.

From that day, Ms Carkeek, her partner Michael and their three children have been entangled in an "endless battle", trying to find suitable accommodation in what they thought was a booming real estate market.

Ms Carkeek said she was blindsided when she was asked to leave her dwelling after being misinformed about her tenancy.

"I wasn't aware of the importance of being two weeks ahead," she said.

"It's crucial.

 

Olive Carkeek, her partner Michael Allen son Milo Allen and two other children have been homeless since March. The family moved into a caravan last week.
Olive Carkeek, her partner Michael Allen son Milo Allen and two other children have been homeless since March. The family moved into a caravan last week.

 

"I'm not sure why I wasn't aware, I just wasn't.

"I thought paying my rent every week was being a good tenant.

"I had this presumption in my head that I was a good tenant but turns out I wasn't."

After living with relatives for a short period of time, the family were left without an option when they were turned away at the door by emergency housing due to a lack of vacancies.

Ms Carkeek said in this time, she applied for 40 properties but was knocked back every time.

She was forced to put a mattress in her car, and live tucked away for weeks at a time.

The strain it put on her family was insurmountable.

 

 

"When you're homeless, we got to a point where my pride went out the window," she said.

"We were in our car, we had nowhere to go.

"There's really nothing out there when you're in the situation.

"You have to beg, borrow and steal."

Ms Carkeek and her family are now located at the Toowoomba Showgrounds having shifted from the Goombungee Showgrounds with the help of a few kind locals.

The team at Downs Caravan Hire lent her a caravan to use in the short term, which was a "light at the end of the tunnel."

Ms Carkeek moved to Toowoomba in 2015 and after having endless options for houses in the past, and never being rejected for a house before, she has watched the market morph and change over the last five years as options become slim.

With help from Tamara Mostert, the family have found a home in Toowoomba and will move in at the end of this week.

But the challenges of the last nine months will not be forgotten quickly.

"I went from thinking we'd get a house in a couple of weeks to realising that it was just going to be impossible to get a house," she said.

"We went from the top of the list to the bottom - I felt like a tenant who destroyed the house and didn't pay rent.

"We were just being told no, no, no, no, no."

Originally published as Parents and young kids left homeless, stranded, living in car


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