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Heartbreaking tale of family left homeless in CQ

DESPAIR: Maxine Frescon and Stephen Alexander have been homeless for four years.
DESPAIR: Maxine Frescon and Stephen Alexander have been homeless for four years. Ebony Battersby

MAXINE Frescon has given up on the system, after living on the streets for the past four years.

With a 17-year-old daughter due to give birth in March, Ms Frescon said she just wanted to provide her family with a stable home.

"I'm listed as a high-priority case, I have three children and a grandchild on the way," she said.

"But I've been knocked back on house after house. All that's left for me to do is go out to the bush and camp."

Ms Frescon, her partner Stephen Alexander and their two dogs have been living out of their unregistered car for several months.

"My son is getting into trouble with drugs and alcohol on the streets of Rockhampton," she said.

"If I could just provide stable accomodation, I could monitor my children and address these problems."

Ms Frescon said her children, aged 12, 15 and 17, had accrued more than 300 days of unexplained absences from high school in 2013.

"I've given up on the system, I have no hope," she said.

"And we aren't the only people going through this."

The lack of affordable rental properties in the private market puts extra pressure on the need for social housing.

Exempted from seeking employment due to health issues, Ms Frescon said she was frustrated by the lack of communication between government agencies.

"The Department of Housing tells me I am listed as a high-priority case," she says.

"Anglicare says I don't meet the criteria. They contradict each other and it's infuriating."

Suzie Christensen, CEO of Anglicare Central Queensland, said unfortunately there just weren't enough houses for all those who needed them.

'The lack of affordable rental properties in the private market puts extra pressure on the need for social housing."

The recent rental crisis in the Central Queensland region has meant although Ms Frescon has applied for housing in Rockhampton, Hervey Bay, Gladstone and Bundaberg, her search for a home has been futile.

Information regarding social housing in Queensland is now available on the State Government's Open Data website for the first time.

Housing and Public Works Minister Tim Mander said the information would include social housing waitlist times, number of applications, tenancies and market rent comparisons.

The website is a tool aimed at enhancing transparency for community housing organisations, in a bid to deliver practical assistance to individuals like Ms Frescon.

Ms Frescon said she was tired of being treated as a number and not as part of a needy family.

"I've had to put off medical operations to put food on the table," she said.

"I just want the chance to be able to build a future. My kids are irreplaceable to me."

Topics:  anglicare central queensland gladstone homelessness



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