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Mum ‘raising four kids in her car’ as she can’t get a house


A distressed mum has said she is living in her car with her four children after finding it impossible to get a house.

Shikera Maher, from Ipswich, Australia, has been living in her car with her teenage children for over five weeks now.

The family say they have been left emotionally and physically exhausted as well as distressed from their ordeal.

They have been desperately trying to find accommodation, but say the lack of rental properties in the area has left them homeless.

Shikera has admitted she’s at her wits’ end with the situation.

In the time that they have been homeless, Shikera says she’s had almost 300 housing applications rejected.



Shikera Maher poses in her car
She claims she’s had almost 300 housing applications rejected

Before resorting to their car, the mum and her children, aged 13, 15-year-old twins, and 18, were living with friends for weeks at a time.

But Shikera, who is a domestic abuse survivor, said the stress of constantly moving was too difficult given the size of the family and how most of her friends live in small houses.

They are currently still using friends’ bathrooms to wash in though.

Shikera says she sleeps in the driver’s seat, while her 18-year-old sleeps in the front passenger seat.



Shikera Maher's son poses in her car
The family say they have been exhausted as and distressed from their ordeal

The three younger children sleep in the back with the family’s belongings.

Due to living in the car, the children had to stop going to school for a period of time as it was reportedly too difficult for them to concentrate or do their homework.

Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the mum-of-four said: “I don’t wish the situation on anyone, not even my worst enemy.

“It’s not a way to live, driving from one park to another because we can’t stay in the same place.



Shikera Maher's car
They are currently using friends’ bathrooms to wash

“It’s a very hard situation. We have to hang blankets on the car windows at night so people don’t look in.”

The mum says she’s tried to contact rental agencies to see why her applications are being denied, but claims she hasn’t had an explanation so far.

She says she has the money to pay a bond and rent which would be around $430 (£246) per week.

Shikera claims she isn’t eligible for public housing as one of her children, aged eight at the time, damaged their last home provided by the government in 2012 and she is still paying off the debt.

In the meantime, the mum and her children are on a waiting list for crisis accommodation.

The family were offered temporary accommodation in a motel outside the city, however, Shakira has turned it down it due to her kids needing to go to school and already paying $30 (£17) on fuel a night to keep the car warm.

According to reports, rents are going up in Ipswich, along with many other Australian cities, and its vacancy rate is at 0.9% – which is a historical low.

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