Christine* is a 78 year old woman who lived in country NSW her whole life raising her three children alongside her husband Bob. When her kids left home Christine worked in the health and education sectors, before becoming a full-time carer for her elderly mother. After Christine’s husband and mother passed away, she felt lonely and isolated. So she sold the house and moved to Queensland to live with her eldest daughter to help her and her husband with the kids while they worked.
During this time Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer, which saw her undergo multiple surgeries and treatment over the following three years. This kept her out of the workforce during this time, but was thankfully supported by her daughter and sister to make a full recovery.
When her grandchildren in Queensland grew up, Christine wanted to move to Canberra to be close to her two other children. She planned to rent a small unit, but didn’t realise how expensive Canberra rents are. She also found that with no recent rental or work history, she was being overlooked. One of her daughters offered for Christine to live with her, but she didn’t want to be a burden on her young family. So they searched for alternative accommodation and found YWCA Canberra’s Betty Searle House where Christine now enjoys the company of other older women as well as her own private space.
To investment property owners Christine says “Women and others in need of affordable housing are so grateful for the opportunity and would care for your property as if it was their own home. So please give us the chance to prove that we will make good tenants with a reliable and long-term commitment to caring for and maintaining your property.”
*The personal stories throughout this website are based on the real experiences of YWCA Canberra’s housing clients. Their names and identities have been protected for privacy reasons.