Public Housing

All posts tagged Public Housing

Opening Doors

Published August 16, 2021 by helentastic67

Opening Doors

Yesterday I went to the launch of a project I helped with called Opening Doors.  I’ve shared the website in the past but in case you missed it.  Home – Opening Doors

I met an advocate there, who deals with people who may be in crisis situations and they become her clients. Example: Couple about to take a newborn baby home where they are living in a brother’s garage. They already have a 4-year-old who is in preschool and because I asked questions, you would imagine they could just move into a room inside the house, so what’s the issue?  They already have three generations living inside the house, twenty people so, no they are stuck in the garage. The top number one question they would get asked. Are you on the public housing list?

Anyone who is on that list, asks when will they get a home?  How long is a piece of string? That is a list you need to be on, but it doesn’t guarantee you will get anything.

So, the significance of one’s home is even more important to anyone with a disability.  It’s a place to be safe, to keep one’s precious things, to build important memories, to regroup at the end of the day, to replenish energy, to sleep. Then to get up the next day ready to fight another day.

So, in short, keeping this in mind,

·         Brain injury: 47 years

·         Moved out of home at 19 years

·         Moved lots until 30 years

·         Diagnosis of ABI at 34 years

·         Since treatment at 30 years, onset of severe disability where I can no longer work and need care.

·         Have moved: 4 times!

Keeping in the back of your mind, I had a boyfriend, sorry I thought I had a boyfriend when I first developed my disability. I digress or context done.

As I mentioned my situation to the advocate, how many times I’d had to move since my disability and while in comparison to her clients with the new born baby, I had told a friend that finding decent housemates since my disability had been like getting my heart, soul and wallet robbed by complete strangers. A friend had bitched to me when he had his disability, he had, had to give up his awesome housemates and he couldn’t understand why I had not been more empathetic towards him.

So, I pointed out, while I’d moved four fucking times and had lived by myself for seven years or more, renting. His family bought him a fucking house!  Now admittedly his house is in the outer suburbs, he owned the house. No renting.

and now 10-15 years later, he’s moved into an apartment in Abbotsford where he can walk to the city and he still thinks I should be all empathetic towards his plight.

Sound bitchy don’t I?  Yeah, the inner bitch comes out occasionally.

$8.69 – Part 2

Published March 25, 2019 by helentastic67

$8 69 1

$8.69 Part 2

I feel I should point out why I think I managed to get a reduction in my rent, because I suspect it’s partly to do with the type of property I rent.

Rent Reduction

I got lucky last year and got a property in a scheme that’s part of an affordability scheme called NRAS. No idea, but might find you a link.

But the basic premise goes like this, I think it comes under state funding (as opposed to federal) just a fancy term for a different bucket of money. All new builds where there is an excess of 30 apartments on the one site, the owner is offered a tax incentive that a percentage (small) be offered as part of this scheme where they get less rent than current value and the loss in rent is given to them as a tax deduction.

Tax Scheme

The potential range of tenant’s must be low income, I actually had to prove I earned less than $45,000 per year. Um? I’ve never earned that much, so if this scheme had been around, I would always have been eligible.

Low Income


But still, there are seven properties in my building, or considering the number of apartments on site, there might be more. I know there are ‘owner-occupiers’ and a reasonable turn-over of properties being sold.

Low Income Tennants

The scheme runs for ten years and hopefully, depending on the market (property) they will continue for another ten years.

Over all I much appreciate living amongst “Normal” people. As I’ve lived opposite some public housing, I barely coped with that. I wouldn’t have survived living in that public housing. I’m not being a snob, I happily waved and took time to chat to some of the tenants, I gave my compost to a lovely Chinese lady for her garden and the young single dad, I gave away muffins and goodies. But I don’t need to live amongst the drug dealers and crazy people who strangle their cats because I was “listening” to their conversations. I wouldn’t hear you do your phone banking if you didn’t do it on your front balcony.

Live amongst normal people

Yeah, that guy turned out to be Schizophrenic.

Disclaimer: Not everyone in Public Housing is a drug dealer or schizophrenic.


Published January 21, 2019 by helentastic67



As you may recall the last place, I lived I was in a unit, I was the front unit in a small block of three. What was so good about it was that apart from feeling like I lived in a house, complete with three bedrooms, a real laundry, a small backyard and a linen cupboard. But what was particularly good was I had street frontage.

street frontage 1

I could sit on my couch and see when the landlady came down with her secateurs and dead headed the roses. I could see people walk their dog’s past and stop to smell the roses. Part of the reason why I never picked the roses to bring them inside was because I could watch people appreciate them, from my couch and it also meant I discovered my garden hose cut by something sharp, I could tell it was likely my landlady who was insisted I not use the garden tap, telling me they paid for it.

smell the roses

Ironic, I don’t miss her and her ‘Handsy’ husband. However, the point being, is that when I had the CBF’s (Can’t be Fucked) to leave the house, I would stay in bed, but look out the window and see that I wasn’t alone, even if I didn’t want to go out and be a part of the world.


I remember a downside was the 50 something, man child who still lived at home, who parked outside my bedroom window. About six metres from my window and across the front lawn. The footpath, then the nature strip. (But still) and he would go out to warm his engine at 6am every friggin morning and he wouldn’t do it once, but several times. Every morning. I wanted to scream at him.

man child

“Dude! Your car is old, but it’s not vintage” now you know said ‘Man-Child’ was Greek. Because they are.

old car parking

But the main cool thing about having a street frontage was that most days there would be a car that drove past and tooted. Now, I didn’t know who was doing the tooting for ages and having lived in Clifton Hill years ago, opposite some low-rise Public Housing (don’t start me). Apparently, the norm is when visiting someone in Public Housing, you pull up in your car out front and toot your horn. None of this getting out, going in and using the doorbell. Don’t be ridiculous.


So, I had presumed (note: Avoidance of the word assume) that some lazy ass was saying hello to the wogs across the street without stopping.

lazy ass

It was a very fair assessment, trust me. So, the tooting horn continued, I have to give it to my carers who seemed to appreciate my frustration.


Until one day, I mentioned it to Aunty Christine and she growled at me “THAT’S ME”. What? Apparently, Aunty Christine would go past and toot a hello every other day, would have been helpful if I’d known this.

thats me

From then on, when I’d hear it, I’d turn to my carer in residence and point outside to say ‘That’s Aunty Christine’. Sometimes, she would later report a guy across the street looking strangely at her ass she drove past. So, she would just give them a dismissive wave. As if they were meant to know she was doing the 5 quick toot salute to Helen? Priceless.

dismissive wave

The downside is I now live on a very busy corner in an apartment and no more tooting.

no more tooting

Rehab – Part 3

Published October 26, 2018 by helentastic67


Rehab – Part 3

Case Study – Part 1

This next post is a series of Case Studies to give you all an example of the kinds of people who you end up sharing a room with in an inpatient rehab hospital room.

Case Study

Now, I was lucky to go into an empty room. It had four beds, we shared a bathroom with three guys in the next room (their fourth bed was a bathroom which didn’t stop a few of those guys using the bathroom in between.)

I asked which bed was to be mine and I then asked if I could have a bed that better suited my vision loss, I prefer to have the door on my right, so I can see people coming.


She was in newish Highrise of Public Housing, nice glossy blue coloured tiles on the outside, I imagine in an attempt to disguise the fact that it was Public Housing. I know it was Public Housing because I’d previously been offered an apartment there.

But, I wouldn’t take my cat, Jamima and had effectively been told/advised to have her put down rather than turn down the Housing. That guy deserved to be fired! Anyway, the roommate number three, spent much time on the phone saying her bedroom furniture was worth $10,000 and her lounge furniture the same.

I couldn’t imagine that much furniture could fit in those apartments and I kept imagining her shopping at Franco Cozzo.

I cannot imagine which wogs are keeping Franco in business, however I believe his son was in charge twenty years ago and was importing “things” inside the furniture. Likely why the son spent time in the Big-House.

Anyway, I will complete this thing.

Roommate number three took some time to settle in, she never really did as the nurses kept a stern eye on her as when her ex-husband visited, they were concerned she would make an escape.

Call me crazy, but she had one hip, had nearly died and she many not have liked it. (I didn’t, but you don’t go there for a holiday) You stay, you KNUCKLE DOWN, you get better and you get the hell out of there, kapish.


Anyway, enter inmate number four.



Published April 23, 2018 by helentastic67



Heard some BS last week, that made my blood boil. So, I guess you should realise initially it was about Public Houses, seriously can’t wait until housing is no longer an issue for me. Can someone tell me when that will be? I’ll put it in my diary.

Blod boil

What’s that? Previously mentioned, I can’t afford to live past 65 years old, so I guess when I get put in the ground, I’m getting cremated, so forget about it.

Cant afford to live

After a brief interlude back to my issue at hand. Heard a story last week about a family who came to Australia way back when, they were given Public Housing in Fitzroy and when the parents made their ‘millions’ (this is how it was quoted to me) they moved out to the suburbs and left their kids behind in the housing provided for them by the government, all so the kids could easily commute to University.

Public housing

Um? Did I mention I left home at 19 years old, so I could go to College? Because home was 3.5 klms away in the country. Perhaps I should have applied for Public Housing as I didn’t get rent assistance back then and I studied full time and had a casual job after College and at Christmas time I’d transfer my casual job back home, just so I could pick up the seasonal work on a Blueberry farm. Also, I would get up at 5am to get ready to travel thirty minutes to start work at 6am, work until 4pm get home in time to shower, inhale some food and to my ‘other’ job by 5pm until 9pm.


Some Christmas break, right?

So, yeah, I really don’t want to be in some high-rise in Fitzroy. I also don’t want to be in a constant state of hyperventilation either. I just can’t breathe.

High rise living


Published March 26, 2018 by helentastic67



I need to have a grumpy rant!

So, if you can’t cope, skip this post now, but if you can hang in there, it might give you some understanding of why I swear in my posts so much.

Grumpy rant

That said, you should be prepared for some F*** Bombs. I’m currently house hunting, AGAIN!

F Bomb

I know, I know, I’ve lived here for four years, which in the last twenty-five years is my limit and I’ve only lived in four houses for four years each, so you can imagine the rest of that time I’ve bounced around a bit.

Four years

I‘ve been meaning to write about how I’ve been preparing to say goodbye to my friends. My friends being the five or so carers. I’m about to lose because I’ve now got the NDIS and I’ve got to start using my funding through an Agency and then there’s the painful process of “Training” new girls.

Saying Goodbye

I’ve had to implement “Grumpy Helen” to do this, I am hating the “System” I live in where, if you fit some particular criteria, you get funding and assistance thrown at you.

Let me give you an example:

Are you Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?
Are you a refugee?

Hear me when I say, I appreciate why refugees need assistance, however, WHAT ABOUT ME?

What about me

I mean and they advertise assistance for these groups and so on. I have been told by people (carers) that they have other clients who live in private rental and when I ask how, they can’t tell me.

Expensive housing

I rang a few places a few years ago that were recommended to me and no one could assist me. Today I sat with my CM (Case Manager) Dave and he told me of a “thing” for want of a better word, it is an organisation and acts similarly to a Real Estate agent and they have properties cheaper than the private rental market.


Ok, all the properties are miles from me or anywhere I need to live, however maybe I can have my property added to this program? Who funds this scheme? DHS

This is another Government Agency – called already. Department of Human Services, who manage Public Housing.

Public Housing

So how come, if they find all these other agencies to deliver programs and dole out assistance – how come no one could would tell me about this scheme?

I noticed with some regret, I am yet to swear in this post, that I promised or suggested it was likely I would swear. So, allow me to remedy that.




Sigh, that feels better.

And I’m back.

I’ve found something fun to do in my neighbourhood, that is an evening thing. In my neighbourhood and I can’t find anyone to go with me. It would seem everybody else gets funded to do ‘fun-things’.  I can’t and I can’t even find a friend to go with me, am I going to have to pay a carer to go?

Fun things

Oh that “event” is Midge nMe from Ultravox. For those who need Google and Wiki, I’ll help by sending you back to the 80’s and mentioning Synth-Pop and if your parents don’t cope with your music taste, they would probably cope with Ultravox.


OK, feel like I’ve maybe mentioned this before, but just in case, caught up with a Numpty-friend late last year. That translates to another friend with an ABI.

I mentioned another Numpty-friend had gotten into Public Housing in my old suburb. This is when I get livid to the agency of Public Housing in that neighbourhood. I outright call them liars, as I had been opposite some Public Housing and I knew there was new Public Housing this other person had been accepted to. The friend I was with told me the lucky person had been bragging a few years ago that they’d bought a house. So how did they qualify for Public Housing?


OK, I miss “cable internet”, I don’t know if I need to say anything else on this to pick. The house I rented before here, I was offered Cable Internet as it was available in that area. Is that a stupid question? So, I got it.

Cable internet

I lived there for fourteen months, beautiful house. Needed a housemate who could pay half the rent and I held in there as long as I could and that’s why I moved here. No housemate required. I’m sure you feel my pain.

Feel my pain

After going out to my kitchen to cook dinner at about 10pm, I noticed a huge light in the sky. OMG it’s a full moon.

That Mother Nature has a lot to answer for.

Mother Nature


Hot off the Press – 14th August 2017

Published August 14, 2017 by helentastic67

Hot off the Press kitten

So, today’s Hot! Off the press is bought to you by this picture…………


I saw these clocks a while ago at the Swedish warehouse and figured I’ve got a big empty wall in my lounge. This would be cheaper than framing a poster from my trip around the UK and Europe in ’94.

I know I don’t have eyes in the back of my head to see said clock on my lounge wall. But semantics.

When I was in the Swedish warehouse debating with my mum if I could afford the clock, I said; “What’s that? If I carry it I can get it?”

The wall is still bare.

Monday had a use day going to the DAC I’m part of. Ok, fine! Disability Advisory Committee, as usual I end up doing a little facilitating because I have something to share and I’m able to do it in a pointed and formatted way. The meeting was actually on housing in the region particularly the needs of people on the public housing list and that in the Next 10 years over 14,000 more people are expected to settle in the area to call it their home.


I used the example of the house that was demolished across the street from me last week. Although it’s only properties where there are more than 30 apartments that will be required to cater to people with disabilities. This is how public housing is trying to avoid the ghetto mentality of some large developments. As there will be owner/occupiers as well as investors/renters that choose to reside there. The general public are outraged the carparks at shopping centres and markets (council owned) look to be redeveloped for these purposes.

Public housing

While, I don’t love it, I get it. I might also not like to live there, I might not have a choice. One day.

From there to my Osteopath appointment and the day went smoothly from there.

My friend Michael dropped me home after an adventure to J-Car! A place I refer to as another tech-friends Temple. I still managed to pick up a few short extension cords. 1 and 2 metres. Always handy to have.

Tech support

Arrived home and Michael attempted to do a little tech support for me. I have a 5 turn-table CD player that I have not been able to use for years as I no longer have an Amp and I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice any of my other tech creature comforts. My DVD provides my surround sound. For everything else.

It should be stating, I’ve deskilled for this kind of tech requirements over the years and as I can’t afford to pay anyone I reward with coffee and muffins. Everyone wins!

After 2 hours, I suggested if he couldn’t fix it I was ok to stand up for a smacking across the bottom. Michael suggested he should have asked more questions and it was more likely to warrant a smack across the face. Not what I’d prefer but a girl can try.

Solution? Helen needs some kind of Receiver. (So, in laments terms an Amp!)

Tuesday a very lazy day again! No complaints.

Wednesday, I was on the Provo trail for food vouchers. So back to the same neighbourhood as Monday but by taxi this time. Did a great deal of walking Wednesday, making up for Tuesday. I even caught the train for about five stops. Because I didn’t get a seat and didn’t want to have to ask for one I stood for about 20 minutes on the train which was like a slow Power-Fit workout. The day ended with 6,000+ steps on the pedometer.

Just an FYI, waving your smart phone in the air or walking around inside holding the phone does not get you steps. Holding the phone to your hip while getting those last 50 steps to get over the 6,000 mark. Gold!

I hope you are all aware I do things every day to help with my depression. I really appreciate the little things in life that put a smile on my face. Because life isn’t all about doom and gloom. Hence, the little witty stories that may seem out of place and make people wonder what Hellonwheels is all about.


Thursday, got to lay low and have a lazy day at home. Much needed after my marathon effort walking on Wednesday. Again, still not complaining!

Dropped into visit Bella/Killer and no joy! Last week I got to have a moment with her when a mum came in with young children who raced over to chase her away. Will try harder this week. Still no fur-child at Helen’s………….

Cat cafe

It seems this week I’ve had a day on day off all week long. By Friday late afternoon I had a migraine and couldn’t feel much of my left side.

I seemed to barely scrape through to be off-grid on Saturday. Again, ignored my single girl date night film evening to catch up on some TV, as I’m feeling the pressure since all the TV I watch starts again in September and I’m too far behind to allow myself to catch up on movies.

Watching TV

I otherwise had a little email contact with some of my blogger colleagues. It’s rare but really nice. Most days I send or receive messages from one of my blogger friends on Messenger. These small but hugely significant contact really makes my day. As other than my carer, I have no other human contact which seems insane.


Phillip my friend who visited some weeks back was surprised no one reaches out to me to ask how I’m going. I do my Outreach efforts mostly on a Wednesday while out and about and he is one person I reach out to. If he doesn’t receive a text from me by Friday I hear from him. Does anyone else share this experience?

Sunday night I watched the Australian 60 minutes and it featured a story about social media Influencers. An Aussie who takes a photo of herself in a bikini every day, because apparently, it’s beach wear we all live in. A few of my fellow bloggers and I currently suffer from the ‘we are not rich enough’ scenario, for want of a better term. Ladies? Bikini a day is taken. I wonder how many out there would pay not to see me in a bikini. I don’t think I’m touching a bikini ever again… Any takers? Just a thought. And I hope you all realise I mean this in a totally non-trolling kinda way…….perhaps we are not adapting to this new potential income stream that the youngsters are on?

60 minutes

Looks like I’m starting a new week with the migraine that has been lingering since Friday. Seems it is at least my constant companion.

Should be said; I managed to read four comics this last week! Feel like doing an impersonation of the Count off Sesame Street! I can totally justify collecting my three-monthly supply of comics on my trip to the city Tuesday. I receive a discount because I do this. File under cost saving hints!

Here’s for another week!

Happy Monday






Published February 13, 2017 by helentastic67



If I ever want to hate myself, I Google real estate properties to rent in my dream suburb, where I lived previously for 8 years.

I know there are houses near me that cost as much if not more, but it is ridiculous.


I have been called a gypsy by my Mum who has helped me more times than I care to admit, but one of these days I’d like to own and never have to move again.

Is it too much to ask to have what everyone else takes for granted?

Obviously, on the whole I can imagine planting my plants in actual soil and getting Solar Panels and a water tank. That would me amazing.


And to imagine I could be more “Green” and look after the environment… And save money? I want a veggie garden.

I know the government clearly prefer everyone live on their own money, not require a pension, if they own their own home, they sell it and live in Public Housing. So, the Government can make money off us.

A girl can dream… One day…



Published December 12, 2016 by helentastic67



OK, I need to rant! Here are some classic examples of what totally shits me about Public Housing.

  1. I don’t have it! To be fair I don’t want it! But I need it.
  2. There are young perfectly able bodied people who could work, but don’t and they only pay A$80.00 per week. Government Housing is calculated by your income. It’s generally only 26%.

About 5 years ago, I lived opposite some Public Housing, it was only a two story building and all flats. Very 60’s and on some nights the residents provided some light entertainment and other times not so.

Here are some examples;

There was this lovely 70-year-old Chinese lady who I used to donate my compost bin to (not a very good compost bin, but all organic and very smelly all the same) and that woman had the energy of a 50-year old. Every year when the pot she gave me ‘flowers’. I think fondly of her.

Then there was the ‘other’ Chinese lady who at one point I think her daughter stayed with her. She had a red Carerra Porsche. But one morning there was a loud noise and when I went outside I saw a tow truck loading said Carerra onto it and departing. I imagine it was repossessed.


Then there was an enviable vegie patch in the front single dad had planted. I also gave him some of the compost.

Then there was the night when I could hear a woman’s voice calling out over the upstairs balcony “Help! Please somebody!” Over and over again!


After a short time and peeking through the blinds of the front bedroom. I lived in a single story terrace back then. I found a woman on the top floor balcony calling out while someone else was attempting to ‘move them out like Rock-stars!’ (that’s when you just throw everything out over the balcony)

I rang the Police! The woman’s cries for rescue took some time to abate.

When I rang the Police, I couldn’t give the exact address for across the street so I gave mine with the

express instructions not to knock on my door.

I had only just moved in and didn’t want to make enemies, but also didn’t want anyone to suffer abuse.

Disaster! The Police put a spotlight on the front of my home and a Policeman came to my door! WFT! Subtle? Epic fail.

I had also just had my treatment and I went to the door with NO HAIR! Very self-conscious, I peeked around from behind the door. Mr Plod’s clearly thought I was timid and hiding. Mr Plod’s clearly had sent Mrs Plod’s up to deal with the domestic.

I know my first comment is not supported by the rest of my points however, as you can imagine this subject is never closed. Next!


Don’t Get Too Excited

Published July 4, 2016 by helentastic67

HC_High_Rise v Townhouse

High Rise Versus Townhouse

Don’t Get Too Excited

I was offered some public housing this week! Yeah! Yes, but don’t get too excited. I’ve been offered some previously. Even more than once! I love the excitement and enthusiasm they have when they call.

And usually when they’re telling me all about the fully modified bathroom and blah, blah, blah! And I usually cut them off to ask “Where is it?”

On that occasion I was met with surprise. I was told it was in Broadmeadows. Now, I know 3 people these days who live in Broadmeadows and only one of them I would call a friend and I rarely see her even.

I know the name Broadmeadows sounds lovely and picturesque to those on foreign shores, however if you knew me in person you would agree with me when I say;

I wouldn’t last 5 minutes in Broadmeadows. I would die! Or be killed or kill someone!

Anyway, I digress but before I move on I’ll say, it would be useful if I live somewhere out of my comfort zone, I didn’t to change every single link to my community support network just to start again. I’m not changing my GP ever! Or my Chiropractor or my Beautician. I don’t drive, so spending all the money I save on rent catching taxis! It’s counterproductive.

But even being offered a place in that area told me this organisation wasn’t doing their job properly. He had not read anything bar my name on a list. I have never put down on any form that I would be even open to the idea of living in that area. (They are meant to keep you close to your services so you don’t have to start again. Don’t be bullied by them)

So finally this week I was offered some housing in a different area, by a different organisation for the last 3 or so years at this point with Case Management and short holidays etc. And I’m on the list for housing.

And the person now managing this area was briefly my Case Manager.

When I get offered something, it’s good to at least go and see it. It’s good to not go alone.

I put it out to a friend who actually spends time with me and around my home. She would have a practical eye of what’s important to me when choosing where I would like to live.

What would need to come with me (fur-baby!) and what I need to keep me because it make me comfortable (my bed!) and what settles my mind and makes my heart sing.

And she understands it would be counterproductive to move into a tiny box and put all my belongings into storage if that makes me want to kill myself or others.

Then I asked my sister to come. She thinks I should take the first thing that’s offered to me because she thinks that would solve all my problems in this world!

Now let me say, that ship has sailed! That ship is in Fiji already (thanks Gilmore Girls for that line!)

My sister drilled me with plenty of questions.

Can I take my cat? Probably not!

And all the others I let wash over me.

I was seeing my Case Manager in a few days so had planned to ask him.

Turns out, the apartment on the 7th floor across from Victoria Markets (no thanks!) is practically just a bedsit! The kitchen a kitchenette!

What do you cook in there? Toast?

So, there’s much micro-managing me from a distance with little thought to my good mental health and then there’s people not reading my file to notice I’m approved for a 2 BEDROOM apartment etc.

And lastly, it’s my opinion that Public Housing in this country is all bulk built for Boat people. Tiny, tiny one bedroom apartments and bedsits! And I don’t have an issue with Boat people so for completely humanitarian reasons:

Let them in!

But this blog is not about them, so for every one of those apartments they build, why aren’t they building for the people who are already here???

Oh! I’ve had enough!

To Be Continued…

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