A mother’s desperate struggle: Pregnant woman and her young child are forced to live inside a car amid Australia’s rent crisis
Pregnant mother Cassandra and her family lived in their car
A young family was forced to live in their car without their home after rising rents and a lack of social support.
Expectant mother Cassandra, her husband and their children, aged one and five, have been living in their Ford Territory in Rockingham, South Perth, for the past eight months.
Cassandra said her family suffered through the ‘extreme cold’ and struggled to buy suitable food for their children, with her and her husband often left alone.
‘There were times where our car battery would actually die because we had to use it to heat the car trying to keep everyone from getting sick,’ he told Nine News.
The distraught mother said her family had been pushed out of the rental market by price hikes in December 2022.
Expectant mum Cassandra (above), her husband and their children, aged one and five, have been living in their Ford Territory in Rockingham since December last year.
Luckily, they were able to find Cassandra a new home just a month before her due date.
The family said its main support system is the Salvation Army.
They and many other struggling locals have accused former Rockingham MP and West Australian Premier Mark McGowan of neglecting locals to focus on the state.
The election for Rockingham will be held on Saturday, July 29, following Mr McGowan’s resignation in May.
Welfare funding has been a key point of debate, with Salvation Army data showing a 250 per cent rise in homelessness since November, with 300 per cent more people seeking emergency relief.
The Salvation Army’s Chelsea Wilson said, ‘At the moment, we see we’re at capacity for what we can give and we need more resources.’
Cassandra (pictured with one of her children) says her family’s car battery runs flat from trying to keep them warm
Labour’s new candidate for Rockingham, Magenta Marshall, responded to criticism of her party, saying: ‘It’s great to talk about Labour’s strong record on relief, although more could be done.’
Other candidates said Labor had already lost support from voters with residents ‘looking for change’.
‘People in Rockingham are telling me that enough is enough. They feel neglected by the Labor government,’ said Liberal candidate Peter Hudson.