News

Home, sweet home

LUCKY TO HAVE A HOME: Vicki Webb and her son, James, with BDCSA case manager Susan Zann at a World Homeless Day breakfast in Ballina on Monday.
LUCKY TO HAVE A HOME: Vicki Webb and her son, James, with BDCSA case manager Susan Zann at a World Homeless Day breakfast in Ballina on Monday.

VICKI Webb, of Ballina, considers herself to be very lucky to have something most of us simply take for granted.

A home.

The mother of four grown-up children and a 10-year-old this week attended a Ballina District Community Services Association (BDCSA) barbecue to mark World Homeless Day.

It was through the BDCSA that Ms Webb was able to secure a North Coast Community Housing home - one of 70 community housing units in Ballina.

And her story highlights the changing profile of those in the community who find it hard to find a place to live.

She was in a relationship when she moved to Ballina six years ago.

The relationship broke down, and then Ms Webb had a fall at home, with her injuries made worse by osteoporosis.

Ms Webb, now 46, was left to survive on a disability pension, but the increasing rental costs in Ballina meant she couldn't find a place to live. Commercially rented properties generally don't allow tenants to move in to properties if the rent exceeds 30 per cent of income.

"It's very hard to find housing," she said.

"I applied for several places but kept getting knocked back.

"If it wasn't for them (BDCSA), I don't know if we (Ms Webb and her son) would have made it."

She said she didn't want to move away from Ballina as her son attends school here, and she didn't want to be in a share house.

Colin Jones, the housing services manager for North Coast Community Housing, said the "housing shortage in coastal towns is extreme".

He estimated there were about 350 public housing properties in Ballina, which was a high-demand area.

He said those trying to get into public housing could wait more than a year.

And Susan Zann, a BDCSA case manager, said that leads people into caravan parks or "couch surfing".

She said the profile of those struggling to put a roof over their heads includes pensioners, but also the "working poor" - young families with an income, but one that doesn't take them above the 30 per cent commercial rental rule.

She said adding to the problem were increasing utility costs.

Matt Wyles, the Salvation Army's family housing worker, said the Salvos were seeing more people "putting their hand out" for help for the first time.

The BDCSA's executive officer, Dianna Howell, said it was time that all levels of government worked together to provide affordable, sustainable housing.

Vicki Webb

Ballina

  

It's very hard to find housing


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ballina koalas faced with extinction

Ballina's koalas are under threat.

About 36,000 koalas left in NSW face an uncertain future

An emotional Mike Baird: 'There was great personal cost'

"After 10 years in public life, this moment for me has arrived."

Surfer calls for second shark net off one coastal town

SIGNS OF SUPPORT: Young protesters make their opinions clear at a rally in support of shark nets at Ballina last November. More than 500 people attended the event calling for the immediate installation of the nets. PHOTO: ALINA RYLKO/ THE NORTHERN STAR

Kids surfing near the Lennox Hotel are at risk of shark encounters

Local Partners

41-year-old playgroup under threat of closing down

IT'S been an important part of the Ballina community for decades, but this playgroup could be forced to shut its doors.

See turtles up close on rescue centre tour

SPLASH: This green sea turtle, held by Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kath Southwell, splashed some of the children on a tour of seabird rescue's headquarters.

The turtles don't mind giving the tour groups a splash, too

Shrek on stage

POPULAR MUSICAL: Shrek (River Fullagar) interrupts the wedding, shocking Fiona (Hillary Goodsell), the Bishop (Grace Pateman) and a furious Farquaad (Lachlan McGeary) in the Ballina Players' latest production.

The best-known green ogre is the star in Ballina Players production

Humble Cortina expected to shine at show

BOYS TOYS: Members of the North Coast Street Machines (from left) Errol Beaumont, Steven Fitness, Les Eckersley and John Stanford are ready for this Sunday's show and shine in Ballina, with their vehicles (from left) 1964 EH Holden, 1962 S Series Valiant, 1934 Ford, 1969 XW GT Falcon and a 1974 L Cortina.

There aren't many who can say they own thefirst car they bought

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

Matthew McConaughey wrongly used as medical example

Doctor tried to steal credit for McConaughey's hair treatment

J.K. Rowling writes through severe back pain

An aching back couldn't stop J.K. Rowling catching inspiration

Elsa voice actor's son hates Frozen

Idina Menzel's son "hates" his mother's most famous film 'Frozen'

Chrissy Teigen likes her "soft" stretch marks

Stretch marks are no problem for Chrissy Teigen

Naomie Harris in the dark over Daniel Craig's future as 007

Naomie Harris has no idea if Daniel Craig will be returning as 007

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Pat Rafter's $18m Coast home proves hot property

PAT'S PAD: The Sunshine Beach home of tennis ace Pat rafter is on the market for a record price.

"It's a record for our company and for the Sunshine Coast.''

INTERACTIVE MAP: Which Northern Rivers towns boomed in 2016?

BOOM TOWNS: While Ballina properties continued to attract top dollar in 2016, it was areas to the south that experienced price hikes, including Wardell, Evans Head and Woodburn.

Click on our map to find the median sale price in your town

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!