As their public housing units fall apart, these women hold each other together

Disability pensioner Trish Casey lives in a Belconnen public housing unit where the walls are filled with photos of her children and foster children, where her grandchildren love to come and visit, and where she has a community of neighbours who look after one another.

But with possum urine running down her kitchen walls and bugs eating her carpet, she feels far from at home.

Ms Casey and her neighbours have had long-standing issues with maintenance, where routine issues have become catastrophic because their concerns were ignored.

Water getting into the roof has been an ongoing problem in the complex.

The eaves were replaced but rain – and possums – still gets in.

Last year, the kitchen ceiling collapsed onto Ms Casey while she was cooking at the stove because of the weight of the water in the roof space.

“I rang Housing Emergency and was told to ring the SES because it was after 6pm. I went but ‘I’ve got water in all my electrical stuff’. ‘Not my problem’, they said,” Ms Casey said.

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