‘I had to give up four of my seven kids because I just couldn’t afford them anymore’

Australia’s housing crisis continues to bite with families left on long waitlists and forced to fork up large rents for horrific properties. Mum-of-seven Herbriella George is one of almost 60,000 people in NSW on a waiting list for social housing, leaving her with the choice of either living in a barely inhabitable house or in her car.

Ms George says she has seen 60 to 70 properties while on the waitlist for a decade and applied to each and every one with no success. So when she saw a $450-a-week run-down, mould-covered property in southern Sydney, she knew no one would apply for the home.

‘I had no choice but to live in that or the other option is to live in my car,’ Ms George told The Project. Ms George (pictured) is one of almost 60,000 people in NSW on a waiting list for social housing and has been on the social housing waitlist for a decade. Ms George said home has a mould problem so bad she has had to throw away possession, and rats which she calls her ‘pets’.


‘I had to give four of my children up because I just couldn’t afford them anymore,’ Ms Gould said. ‘There are days I don’t even know what to put on the table.

‘It makes me break down that I can’t give my kids the home they deserve.’

Census data shows there are approximately 144,000 people in need of social housing. Hal Pawson, from the City Futures Research Centre at the University of NSW, said some families have even dropped off the list as they are sick of waiting while others saw no point in applying for properties due to how competitive the market is. Mr Pawson said the inner city suburbs of Erskineville, Beaconsfield and Zetland are some of the hardest areas to get housing, with wait times of at least 10 years for any home larger than a one-bedroom unit.


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