A desperate single father has shared a photo of his children sleeping on a mattress on the floor after revealing he has been rejected from more than 450 house rentals.
Ash Brown, 32, and his two kids have been homeless for six months despite his non-stop attempts to find a home, with the family staying at a grandparent’s house in Adelaide.
After sharing his story on TV and begging for help to give his children the home they deserve, the young father was bombarded with messages from trolls who said landlords rejected him because of his face tattoo.
With pictures not included on most normal rental applications, the father is certain his face tattoo – ‘Blessed’ written above his eyebrow – had nothing to do with his housing struggles.
Mr Brown and his son are forced to share a mattress on the floor while his daughter sleeps on a couch cushion next to them.
Now taking anti-depressants to help him cope with the horror situation, Mr Brown told Daily Mail Australia he’s just asking for someone to give them a chance.
Ash Brown’s children asleep on the floor of on e of their grandparent’s – where they have been staying for six months
Mr Brown, 32, has revealed his struggles to find a home for him and his two kids to live in
‘I apply for houses every single day. I spend every night, once the kids go to sleep applying, and searching anywhere I can for a home,’ he said.
‘I am struggling terribly with depression because of this situation. I have even gone to the doctors and had a mental health plan made and been prescribed anti-depressants. I feel like a complete failure.
‘My kids are missing out on their childhood. They are too young to understand the gravity of it all, but I know they are suffering quietly inside. If someone would just give us a chance.’
Mr Brown blamed the huge demand for rentals for his situation, revealing he is regularly forced to compete against more than 50 people at property inspections.
He also said that, as a single parent, he struggles to compete with multiple income families.
Mr Brown is suffering with depression and says his children are missing out on their childhood
Mr Brown and his son share one mattress while a couch cushion to his right is used by his daughter
‘I have written countless letters to the premier and housing minister, and yes they have given me a response, they say they are all advocating for me where ever possible.
‘But honestly I am just so lost and don’t know what to do anymore. Being a single father and sole parent is difficult enough as it is.
‘My kids are my world, don’t get me wrong, but it is so hard doing this alone.’
He called for major government intervention to fix Australia’s housing crisis, saying he just wanted somewhere for his kids to be call home.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that rents have risen at the fastest rate for 14 years as landlords battle rising interest rates and higher inflation.
According to research firm CoreLogic’s quarterly rental review, rents are 9.1 per cent higher across capital cities and are up 10.8 per cent in regional areas compared with June 2021.
Meanwhile, charity group Mission Australia revealed this week that at least one in 20 young people surveyed in Australia became homeless for the first time during the pandemic.
They have been homeless for five months, forcing them to sleep on a single mattress together at his mother’s house in Adelaide
Mr Brown’s son celebrated his fifth birthday on Tuesday, with the father taking his children to a hotel so they could enjoy a change of scenery (pictured at a friends’ house)
Michelle Gegenhuber, Believe Housing Australia’s Executive General Manager, also previously said that more people were currently on the verge of homelessness than pre-pandemic levels.
And Anglicare Australia’s 2022 Rental Affordability Snapshot showed that only eight out of 6,000 rental listing across the country were affordable for a person on JobSeeker, and just one listing was affordable for a person on Youth Allowance.
For full time workers on a minimum wage, 778 rents were affordable, and for those on the Age Pension, just 336 were affordable.
Mr Brown said it was these factors that are contributing to his struggles. He was adamant previously that his housing troubles have nothing to do with the ink on his face after a social media backlash following a TV interview.
‘They don’t give me any reasons, ‘ he said previously.
As a single parent, he says he struggles to compete with multiple income families – and insists his housing troubles have nothing to do with his face tattoo after social media backlash following a TV interview
‘They just never contact me back. It’s because of the rental crisis. Every inspection I go to, there are at least 50 to 60 other people there applying for the same houses – and I dare say a lot of these are multiple income families and households.
‘People on social media have been saying ‘oh its because of your face tattoo’ but this isn’t the case. Not once have I ever been visually judged by any real estate agent because of my tattoos. In all honesty, the only judgement I have ever received for my tattoos has been since the interview on Channel 7.
‘And the thing about that is, it’s there for a reason, the tattoo that is. It says ‘Blessed’. I got it when I became a single father, and had to start raising my kids on my own.
‘The whole concept of being a solo parent was very new to me and difficult. I was personally struggling with depression with the whole situation and wanted something to remind me every time I looked in the mirror exactly what it is I’m fighting for. Which is my two kids.’
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