Hillsview Tourist Park is located on the outskirts of the lead-smelting town of Port Pirie in South Australia.
This is not your typical holiday park filled with gray nomads and contract workers moving around the city. For some residents, this is a permanent home.
Zero vacancy rate for local rental properties means that it is nearly impossible to find private rentals, and the waiting list for public housing is long.
Caravans line the park’s gravel entrance all the way to the rear perimeter, where desert pastures stretch as far as the eye can see.
‘I am angry’
Tayla Soan, a pregnant caravan resident, has been living in Hillsview for more than two years.
She says that during this time she applied for the lease of more than 40 private properties.
Her partner receives a disability pension and is unable to work, and Tayla receives bi-weekly payments from a job search program.
She believes that her financial situation makes her an undesirable candidate for the city’s landowners.
“That’s pretty much what they give [properties] someone else because I don’t have a job or income,” Tayla says.
“This is not helping people who really need housing.”
Tayla’s motorhome costs $370 for two weeks, not including electricity, and barely fits her and her partner, though they managed to keep their cat.
She says she is doing it right now, but doesn’t want her child in a motorhome.
“I really don’t want to raise a child in a trailer. It would be so hard.”
“Live in a tent”
Just a few meters from the permanent caravans and closer to the entrance to the park is a set of well-maintained cabins.
In one cabin, Jody Sherry had just brought three of her seven children home from school.
Jodie says she hasn’t had a home for two months after her landlord decided to sell the apartment she lived in.
“All my seven children are in the same cabin with me,” she says. “It’s very stressful and stressful for me.”
Jody is currently paying $560 a week for a cabin and she’s not sure if she can cover that amount next week.
She receives some welfare payments, but she only has $400 left until her next payment comes.
She is also on the waiting list for public housing, a long list she knows.
Jody says she quickly gave up on the idea of living in a tent, in part because one of her children has health issues and another has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.