Grandma evicted from housing commission home

FLOORED: Eileen Reid is distraught about facing eviction from her Yeppoon home of 16 years.
FLOORED: Eileen Reid is distraught about facing eviction from her Yeppoon home of 16 years. Chris Ison Rokcevict

LIFE on Yeppoon's Ruff St just got a whole lot rougher for 52-year-old grandmother Eileen Reid.

The housing commission tenant was yesterday facing the loss of the house she has called home for the past 16 years, after the Department of Public Housing presented her with a notice of eviction.

While currently still in her home, a tearful and panic-stricken Eileen yesterday confessed that if she lost the house, she would lose her pets and family as well.

"I am stressing out; I'd have to get my animals put down before I can go anywhere. I have a 16-year-old cat that has been here longer than anyone else," she said.

"My son and his pregnant girlfriend; when I came home last night they were walking down the road with a swag and his dog to go live with his brother for a while. That really makes me feel bad."

While a Queensland Department of Housing spokesman said they were unable to comment on specific circumstances for privacy reasons, there were a number of factors that could contribute to an eviction.

"Tenants can be evicted for a range of reasons, such as failure to pay rent, severe property damage, objectionable behaviour or conducting illegal activities in a departmental property," they said.

"Tenants are given an opportunity to rectify their situation if the reasons for their eviction are not serious. However, all tenants are required to comply with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, as are private tenants."

Eileen said that the unkempt yard seemed to be a consistent issue the department had with the property, but said letting the grass go was a personal protest to what she felt was unfair treatment.

"The grass was really a protest; it didn't get me anywhere," she said.

"My house, once upon a time, I loved it. Now I am just going downhill."

Despite the provision of information on alternate accommodation if an eviction was the end result, Eileen said she would end up sleeping in the park.

The Department of Housing spokesman said evictees could reapply for social housing, access RentConnect services or bond loans to help secure a private rental.

"I am not living with anyone, I am going back to the parks," Eileen said. "I have nowhere else to go."

And she's not the only one that feels desperate for a roof over their head.

As of June this year, about 403 people are currently on the waiting list for social housing in the Rockhampton area.

Fast Facts

What are the realities of housing commission?

There are about 225,000 applicants on waiting lists nationally

A household's gross weekly income must be less than $609 for one person

Topics:  department of housing eviction housing commission

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