Homeless family turned down for over 50 properties in two months

A mother and her three children who lived in a single motel room for six months says stigma and prejudice against beneficiaries and the disabled kept her locked out of the rental market.

Alice Jones* has a brain injury, which requires her to use a wheelchair. Because of her injury, Jones is on a lifetime WINZ benefit, which she said was held against her by landlords.

“One house I went for, the real estate agent put me forward, I ticked all the boxes, but the landlord said ‘no, I work at Work and Income, I can’t have a beneficiary in my house’,” Jones said.

She said her own Work and Income agent was shocked. Jones said her case managers had been “absolutely fantastic”, but ultimately it came down to the landlords’ choices.

Jones and her family had looked at more than 50 properties since January this year, and even more in October. She at last found a property to rent after months of searching, but Jones said there were others like her who were still struggling.

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