Rian Parka is still looking for accommodation 12 months after the floods. Picture: Shae Beplate.
Rian Parka is still looking for accommodation 12 months after the floods. Picture: Shae Beplate.

Renter unable to find new home year after flood disaster

POST-flood rental market increases have made it next to impossible for Rian Parka to find a new home he can afford.

On January 30 last year, he was walking out the front door into armpit-high floodwaters, hoping the work he'd done to protect his uninsured belongings would not be fruitless. Twelve months on, Mr Parka is still displaced.

While he found a temporary home with his parents in Condon, Mr Parka said he had almost no social life or personal space.

Piles of house contents destroyed in the Townsville floods line the street of Hodel St, Rosslea. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Piles of house contents destroyed in the Townsville floods line the street of Hodel St, Rosslea. Picture: Alix Sweeney

But the cost of renting, the sheer number of people searching in his price range and a lack of permanent work has made it next to impossible for him to move out.

Like many homes in Rosslea, his two-bedroom unit in Hodel St was destroyed after sitting in floodwater for 11 days. Mr Parka lost most of his belongings, but managed to save his first-edition books, which he squirrelled away on top of the kitchen cupboards.

At first, he was told it would be a few months before he got back into the unit he described as "perfect" for him. Mr Parka struck a deal with his former real estate agent to keep paying rent, so when he finally moved back in, he wouldn't have to worry about money. But the move-in date kept being pushed back. "I didn't realise I was going to be 17-and-a-half weeks ahead on my rent before I decided 'bugger this crap, not doing it no more'," he said.

Rian Parka is still looking for accommodation 12 months after the floods. Picture: Shae Beplate.
Rian Parka is still looking for accommodation 12 months after the floods. Picture: Shae Beplate.

 

After more than six months of waiting, Mr Parka terminated his lease but the $3539 he was owed only made it into his bank account this week.

Mr Parka said he always wanted to move back into the unit, but the $60 rent increase after repairs were completed put it well outside his price range.

"That's a big hike in rent, especially for someone who works in hospitality," he said.

"Even finding work now is still a nightmare."

He's hoping the money will help him find a new place to live, but he believes it is an uphill battle because he could only find casual work.

"I have applied at numerous places (units) … I am grateful Mum and Dad are putting up with me," Mr Parka said.



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