A father of four who has been pushed to the brink by the cost of living crisis has put his children into the care of the state after he was forced to move into his car.
The price of rentals has skyrocketed across Australia, sending thousands of people into homelessness over the last 12 months.
Shane – whose name has been changed for privacy reasons – and his wife have been living out of their car in North Adelaide for more than six months.
After struggling to keep up with the soaring cost of rent and groceries for his family of six, Shane was finally forced to give up his home.
Rather than force his four children into a life of homelessness, they were placed into the care of the state.
“Our kids are in care because we can’t afford to buy the house that we need for our four kids to be doing the things that they need to do,” he told 7 News on Sunday night.
“They’re just reaching those ages where everything costs money (and) kids need money.”
Shane and his wife have struggled through their first winter living out of a car.
A missing window has meant icy overnight temperatures seep into the car while they try to sleep.
At night they scan the aisles of supermarkets for discounted items, including those about to expire.
Generous local business owners have helped them out by offering them free meals where they can.
The couple have been in contact with homeless support agencies but overwhelming demand has made it hard to place them in a temporary home.
Dave – whose name has also been changed for privacy reasons – has been living out of his car after an extended period in hospital meant he had to take leave from work without pay.
“I was planning on going back to work at the end of February but they said it’s too risky for the line of work I’m in, always on my feet,” he said.
More than 6600 South Australians became homeless over the last 12 months, according to data from Homeless Connect.
Australians are struggling under the pressure of 12 interest rate rises that have hiked mortgage repayments up and caused a flow on of rental increases.
Thousands are being forced out of their homes and into a hostile rental market, some spending weeks in temporary accommodation as they hunt for an affordable rental among the shrinking pool of those available.
Without enough affordable housing stock, more Australians are being forced closer to the brink of homelessness.