An elderly woman has been forced to live in her car after her rent became too expensive to afford.
Susannah Tuxford, 78, now sleeps out of her car stationed near a park in Beenleigh, Queensland, with only her dog as company. Despite over 50 years of paying taxes and starting her working life at aged 14, Ms Tuxford has been brought to tears by the lack of help she has received.
"I pay all that money, all those years and the government isn't helping anybody like me," she told 9News, admitting she was "embarrassed" by her current living situation. With no family left living in Australia, Ms Tuxford has no other option but to live alone in her car.
Retiree forced to wash in public bathroom
With a lack of amenities, Ms Tuxford said she has had to get creative — making a "tissue plug" in the public bathroom's sink in an attempt to wash herself.
"I didn't have a shower for two weeks, I just went in the bathroom, and [used] the hand basin there," she said. "I just bathed there early in the morning when nobody was around and can see me."
She relies on local charities who provide sandwiches for her, and she is currently recovering from a fall she recently had, using a walking stick now she "can't walk properly" with a painful leg.
After Queensland Housing Minister Meaghan Scanlon was contacted by 9News over Ms Tuxford's situation, she was offered sleeping arrangements at a local aged care facility. However, Ms Tuxford turned the offer down, saying she does not require aged care, just a roof over her head.
More Aussies living out of their car amid rental crisis
Ms Tuxford is the latest Aussie to admit to living in their car as the tightening rental market pushes rent prices up, with many unable to make ends meet.
At the start of the year a Sydney woman was forced to live from her car after experiencing financial hardship and was unable to afford her rent, despite working 50 hour per week as a chef. A Perth family also lived from their car for eight months as the cost-of-living crisis meant they were unable to make their rent payments.
The country continues to grapple with a rental crisis due to an imbalance of supply versus demand, with state and federal governments desperately trying to find solutions to the lack of housing in Australia.
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