Housing crisis: Disabled trio unable to find Busselton rental face homelessness.

Taylar AmoniniBusselton Dunsborough Times
Three disabled Busselton men are in desperate need of a rental property.
Camera IconThree disabled Busselton men are in desperate need of a rental property. Credit: Sam Jones / Broome Advertiser/Broome Advertiser

Three men with disabilities are facing the devastating prospect of having their independence torn from them, as their landlord evicts them amid the housing crisis crippling the region.

Adrian Austin, Paul Plowman and Stephen Brown have lived together for the past three years, conquering a goal that many with intellectual disabilities struggle to achieve: live independently.

However, the men are facing the prospect of homelessness if they cannot find a new rental before the end of March.

As the official lessee of the rental home, disability support organisation Activ Foundation Inc received notice the lease would not be renewed and has since tried to find a new home for the trio without success.

The struggle to find a home is not new for the region’s renters, with vacancy rates at just 1.3 per cent, according to the Real Estate Institute of WA.

Across the State, 60 renters are evicted each week.

Activ executive manager operations Amanda Lovelock has appealed to private property lessors in Busselton and the Department of Housing to prioritise rental accommodation for her clients.

“Being able to achieve their goal of living independently is such a fantastic outcome for Adrian, Paul and Stephen,” she said. “The thought of these young men essentially becoming homeless next month is just devastating.

“These men are part of the local community, they live very well together, have proven to take good care of the home they currently live in and rental payment is guaranteed.

Trevor Byles, Crystal Gadenne and Paul Plowman, all of Busselton.
Camera IconPaul Plowman, left, with friends Crystal Gadenne and Trevo Byles. Credit: Kate Fielding

“Activ has requested urgent assistance in this matter . . . and has also been working hard to source an alternate private rental property for these men to live in, however, we haven’t been successful in these attempts.”

The men are seeking a standard four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Busselton so they can maintain their autonomy and connection with their support network.

Deputy Liberal Leader Libby Mettam
Picture: Daniel Wilkins
Camera IconDeputy Liberal leader Libby Mettam Daniel Wilkins Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam lent her voice to the call-out, saying the men’s situation was desperate, despite their good rental history.

“The obvious appeal of renting your property out to Activ is the fact it would be a permanent rental, which would be properly maintained and would obviously assist these wonderful gents who need to stay connected with the Busselton community,” she said.

“This is a plea to our community who may be aware of a suitable rental in the local area as a permanent rental for Activ and their wonderful residents.

“I will also be writing to the Minister for Housing and Disability Services to seek an urgent response on this issue, which is part of the wider housing crisis.”

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