'Thrown on the scrap heap': Cancer victim kicked out of home
A CANCER sufferer will be homeless on Monday if her most recent appeal to the Rockhampton courthouse is unsuccessful.
A Magistrate ruled last week that police could escort Ms Janet 'Jeni' Lee out of her Frenchville home, after she fell behind in her rental agreement.
"It was a disastrous outcome, not only for me but for other tenants," Ms Lee said.
"(This is) what is happening to older women who are literally being thrown on the scrap heap."
Ms Lee returned to court Friday afternoon to ask for an extra "four or five days" to pack her possessions into storage, and prepare to move to New South Wales.
Ms Lee, who has cancer and a heart condition as well as a shoulder injury, said she owed $1700 which she would have made up within a month or two.
She contends the real estate has been "heartless" in moving forward with the eviction notice, and cites herself as an example of a member of society left to fall "through the cracks".
She said she had gone without medication, in an attempt to repay the rent, leaving her "extremely tired and falling over".
Ms Lee had rented another, smaller property with the same company before she moved to her Felhaber St residence four years ago because its onsite shed could accommodate her possessions.
She finished work in the indigenous housing sector two years ago, and now relies on an aged pension for her income.
Ms Lee alleged that, since the move, she had argued with the real estate and landlord about various broken and unsafe fixtures within the house for which she pays $300 per week.
"The house has no airconditioning, the toilets block up and Hills Hoist is too high for me to use," she said.
"I have a major electricity bill ($1300) every quarter as I have no clothes line, so I'm on a payment plan to catch up on that.
"I have no stove as it caught alight; that was frightening as I was (previously) involved in a house fire and barely got out alive."
Ms Lee - who regularly travels to Brisbane hospitals for treatment - said the tight rental market was forcing disadvantaged and elderly people out of safe residences.
"The landlords want the top dollar because they think the mines are opening up and they are going to make a fast buck," she said.
"I think there should be housing made available for the older generation."
Following the eviction notice, Ms Lee feared she would be separated from her beloved dog, Boof, but she has since made plans to move south with him to pursue her Masters degree.
"I'm at the end of my life and the only reason I'm going back to academic cloister is to get away from all the crap I've had to put up with in Rockhampton," she said.
Ms Lee plans to live on campus in Armidale where she will undertake research into the relevance of religion when it comes to mental health practices.
She said Boof would be allowed to live with her as an assistance dog, following vet checks and a letter from her doctor.