Pregnant woman’s desperate battle to find a home
Aloura Davis might be six months pregnant, but she's not spending her spare moments setting up her baby's nursery or buying adorable newborn clothes.
Instead, she's desperately searching for somewhere to live.
She has filled out dozens of applications for rental properties and attended inspections, along with up to 50 other people.
"I signed a short lease for my (current) place at Broadwater and I was told there would be an opportunity after that to make it a long-term lease," Ms Davis said.
"Just before Christmas, the real estate agency told me the landlords had offered a 12-month extension and they were progressing that for me.
"I hadn't heard anything for a while so I asked them about it.
"Then, out of nowhere, I was given a termination notice … the landlords want to move back in."
Ms Davis said she has to move out by April ‒ and she'll be eight months pregnant by then.
So far she's applied for more than 20 rental properties right across the Northern Rivers, but has not been successful.
"It's so difficult, there are so many people applying," the 22-year-old said.
"I'm trying to be realistic with my budget, but I'll be a single mother. I don't want to move out of the region because my mum and my nan live in Ballina and I'll need their support as a first-time mother.
"I've lived here since childhood.
"But prices are going up each week ‒ places I looked at last week are now $100 more expensive.
"I put in an application for community housing and I was told it would be up to a five-year wait.
"So my daughter would be in school by then, I'd be back at work, my circumstances would be totally different."
Unfortunately, Ms Davis is not the only one struggling to find a home.
There is a massive shortage of rental properties on the Northern Rivers, and prices have gone up.
Rents in the Richmond Valley increased by 14.3 per cent over the past year to $400 a week, Lismore rents increased by 7.5 per cent to $430, and Byron increased 7.1 per cent to $750, according to the Domain Rent Report for the December quarter.
Despite the challenges she is facing, Ms Davis is staying positive.
"I definitely have had my (bad) days," she said.
"But I can only do my best … I am trying to stay calm, I'm eating really well and swimming in the ocean every day, doing the things that I can control.
"I'm already so protective of my baby and I want to give her a secure and stable home."
If you can help Ms Davis with a self-contained flat or even a room in a safe home, please contact her through us, at firstname.lastname@example.org.