New home gives Troy his life back

24 November 2023 5:19PM

“It’s been a long time since I’ve had my own place. I have a nice clean unit now. I have everything I need. I never thought I’d have something so beautiful.”

For new Bellmere resident, Troy, life is better than ever since the Moreton Bay Housing Service Centre at Caboolture helped him rent a property after he found himself homeless.

Troy said he’d been looking for rental properties and was in despair after being rejected about 12 times.

“Nobody wanted to rent to me because I was on a disability pension,” Troy said.

“It really knocks your self-esteem; you just think you’re not good enough.”

With nowhere to go, Troy ended up living out of his car – a challenge considering Troy is over 6 foot tall and his car is a small Hyundai.

He said, “I would have had to open the boot and doors and dangle my legs out.

“In my car, I was depressed. I was always in pain, just crippled. Pain does weird things to you.”

Troy eventually asked for help at the Caboolture Hospital, and then approached the Moreton Bay Housing Service Centre for help to find accommodation.

RentConnect officer, Victoria, said Troy was in a pretty bad way when they first met.

She said, “He’d been sleeping in his car for a few weeks. He was very emotional and timid.”

“He’d been applying for properties but hadn’t had any success. He had savings for a bond, but proving rent was affordable on his pension was a challenge.”

After assessing Troy’s circumstances, Victoria suggested the Helping Hand Headlease, a program where the department could lease a private rental property and sublease it to him.

Victoria said, “Troy applied for a property through a real estate agent we had a relationship with.”

“He’d told the agents his story and they wanted to help, but weren’t sure the owners would agree. When we got involved and offered to take the headlease, they were able to approve him within 24 hours.”

Victoria said Troy became a different person.

“After talking about the head-leasing option, he got a haircut and felt better about himself. Every day there were little changes until the day he picked up the keys and you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face,” she said.

“He gave me a hug and said, ‘I’m going home’.

“I don’t feel like we did too much out of the ordinary, but it was nice to see how much it impacted somebody,” Victoria said.

Troy said his one-bedroom unit has changed his life.

“It’s a beautiful neighbourhood. It’s quiet. A lot of people talk to me and wave, everyone’s so nice.”

“I’ve got a little backyard, lots of trees around. It’s my little oasis.

“My kids have visited me nearly every day since I’ve been here. I’ve started cooking again and I make them meals,” he said.

Troy said he couldn’t speak more highly of the team at the Moreton Bay Housing Service Centre.

“Everyone from the Housing Service Centre has been so lovely to me. They went out of their way to help me. It was a blessing.

“They put me onto some courses to help with my confidence, I’m getting counselling.

“I didn’t think anyone cared about me anymore, but Housing has changed that,” Troy said.