Mum admits she gave up four of her seven children because she could no longer afford them
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Featured Image Credit: Ten/The Project
A desperate mum in Australia has revealed she's had to give up four of her children because she can't afford to give them 'the home they deserve'.
Herbriella George, from New South Wales, is mum to seven children and is one of about 160,000 people in Australia waiting for public housing. She was told she could have to wait years and years for a home, and 'just couldn't afford' to care for all of her children amid her search. Hear her story below:
Herbriella has been on the waiting list for public housing for a decade, and despite applying for 60 to 70 properties during her wait she's had no luck in securing a home.
It wasn't until she came across a mould-covered property in southern Sydney that she knew she'd be able to move in, because it was unlikely anyone else would apply for the $450 (£250)-a-week home.
Speaking to The Project about her ordeal, Herbriella explained: "I knew looking at the picture that no one was going to apply for that home because I wouldn't have done it myself if I wasn't desperate, but I was."
The home is infested with rats, and the spread of the mould has forced Herbriella to throw away many of her belongings. But she had no choice, with the only other option being to 'live in [her] car'.
The poor conditions mean that most of Herbriella's children live with their father, who is in a better financial position than her.
"I had to give four of my children up because I just couldn't afford them anymore," she explained. "There are days that I don't even know what to put on the table to feed them. It makes me break down that I can't give my kids the home they deserve."
As many as 220,000 people in NSW are homeless, living in substandard housing or spending more than 30 percent of their income to keep a roof over their heads, according to Community Housing Industry Association CEO Mark Degotardi.
Community housing aims to offer secure and affordable rental housing for residents in need, and is one of three ways social housing is provided in NSW, along with public housing and Aboriginal housing.
According to the New South Wales government, approximately 28,000 households live in community housing in the state, with the houses going to residents who are on 'very low to low incomes and unable to meet their housing needs in the private rental market'.