I recently showed prospective tenants through some new three-bedroom homes with great light and space. I was assisting another team member on this occasion and this is not something I do often.
It certainly provided me with a new perspective.

The first, was a young woman named Laura* viewing the property with her parents. Laura and her three children aged 8, 5 and 4 had been living with her parents for a year after escaping family violence. Laura slept on the couch with her three girls sharing the spare room. The family have additional needs due to suffering from a rare condition. Laura’s parents were obviously devoted to them, but it was clear that this living situation had been difficult for everyone. The emotion on their faces was very moving and I struggled to maintain my own composure! As a mum, the reaction of her parents resonated with me. Genuine relief that the family would have a home of their own and the stability that we all want for our kids. Laura’s reaction was special to watch. She was so gentle and polite with a wide-eyed amazement that this could be her home – and now it is.

The second prospective tenant was another young mum, a Sudanese migrant name Dua* who has been living with her three children in temporary accommodation after experience with family violence. They were very relieved to have no further contact with the perpetrator. The support worker who attended with Dua mentioned how beautifully she kept her current accommodation and how she was longing for a place to put down roots after enrolling the children aged 3, 4 and 8 in the local school and kinder. It was heartwarming to see Dua immediately envisioning who would go where within the home and I could see her determination to care for her family. It brought home the plight of young mothers, who don’t have family support or the means to pay private market rents. Tears were shed and they were not just hers. Dua was
simply overwhelmed by the quality and the amenity of the home.

I speak with WPI residents regularly but to witness the reaction of women who had persevered through very hard times being able to access a stable home for their families was very special.

*Name changed to protect privacy.