Desperation Down Under: Housing crisis forces Aussie dad into tent living

In the face of Australia's escalating cost-of-living crisis, stories of hardship and desperation are becoming all too common.

However, for some like Peter Woodforde, the situation has reached a breaking point, forcing them into decisions they never imagined they'd have to make.

Peter, an Aussie dad, has been pushed to the edge, and now lives in a tent, a reality so harsh he keeps it hidden from his children.


Peter's story is a stark reminder of the housing crisis gripping the nation.

With a vacancy rate hovering around one per cent and the cost of housing soaring, many Australians are finding themselves in precarious living situations.

For Peter, affectionately known as ‘Woody’, the choice to live in a gazebo wrapped in tarps in Adelaide's north-east was one made out of sheer necessity.


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Aussie dad Peter Woodforde was compelled to hide his tent living situation from his children due to the housing crisis. Credits: Shutterstock


The emotional burden of this crisis is heavy, particularly for parents like Peter, who feel the weight of their children's expectations.

Woody’s teenage daughter, residing with her mother, once expressed to him that it ‘hurt her’ to see him in distress.

However, what weighs even heavier on him is his inability to support his children.

‘Every parent wants to give their kids everything they possibly can and wants to give them the best chance of having a good life,’ Woody stated.

He comforted his children with the assurance that he will bounce back, yet it doesn't alter the fact that he's absent for ‘some of the golden years’.

‘I help where I can, I might pick them up and drop them off from school, but now they're too far for me to do that,’ Woody lamented.


Woody’s situation is far from isolated. A recent Salvation Army survey revealed that one in three Australians fear becoming homeless.

The same survey painted a grim picture of the lengths people are going to in order to save money, with 94 percent resorting to drastic measures to cut costs.

The study revealed that 49 per cent of individuals were reducing shower frequency, 22 per cent were utilising candles and torches to lower electricity expenses, and 11 per cent were opting for public facilities like shopping centre bathrooms to conserve water at home.

Approximately 13 per cent of families reported their children attending school without having eaten, with 7 per cent enduring a full day without food.

Meanwhile, 69 per cent admitted to forgoing meals themselves to ensure their children were fed.

After covering essential expenses like housing, utilities, medicine, and groceries, people were left with an average of just $8 per week.

Major Brendan Nottle of the Salvation Army stated that Australia was witnessing a ‘tsunami of need’ across the country

‘The lengths people are going to just to get by is shocking and unnecessary in this country,’ he remarked.

‘It is outrageous that eight in 10 of those surveyed are living below the poverty line.’


Woody urged the government to take further action, emphasising that mere discussions are insufficient.

‘What if all of a sudden, people start dying while on the street? What is the government going to say then?’ he argued.

Mr. Woodforde recounted rebelling and quitting school following the loss of his brother to Leukaemia during a school excursion when he was ten years old.

He struggled to secure employment and eventually found himself without a home. For approximately five years now, he has been living on the streets.


In a bid to transform his circumstances, Woody recently initiated ‘Woody and Skip’, a venture selling prints featuring poems addressing homelessness, aiming to support others facing similar challenges.

‘I believe that I'm meant to have gone through all this, so I have the knowledge base (to help others),’ he declared.

He reached out to Anglicare SA recently seeking assistance and is now awaiting further support.


In a parallel struggle within Australia's housing crisis, another family finds themselves grappling with the harsh realities of makeshift living.

As Peter Woodforde fights to survive in Adelaide's tent city, his story echoes the challenges faced by a family of eight, also confronting the dire consequences of the housing shortage.

Both narratives shed light on the pervasive issue of homelessness and the pressing need for comprehensive solutions to address it.
Key Takeaways
  • Peter Woodforde, an Aussie dad, was forced to live in a tent amidst the housing crisis, keeping this fact hidden from his children.
  • The low vacancy rate and high cost of housing were cited as factors contributing to his current living situation in Adelaide's north-east.
  • A recent Salvation Army survey highlighted the severe financial struggles faced by Australians, with many resorting to extreme measures to save money due to inflation.
  • Woody has been homeless for roughly five years and has recently been advocating for more government action while also launching a project, ‘Woody and Skip’, to help others experiencing homelessness.
Have you or someone you know been affected by the housing crisis or the cost-of-living increases? What do you think can be done to support those in need? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
 
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Makes me sad.
I am so grateful that we and our sons families are secure in their own homes.
The reality of what so many families have to go through is too much to imagine.
My niece and her 3 sons has to move up country, 2.5 hours away from family, because the rents are too much around here to even comprehend. The possibility of those 3 little kids having to live on the streets is real...too real to come to terms with.
As I said ... makes me sad.
 
We are becoming just like the USA where you have the streets littered with garbage and people living in tents and people waking around like zombies their minds blown out by drugs.
 
The last government didn’t exactly do a lot to help either!
Unfortunately things have worsened dramatically in the past 18-24 months - a sign of the times - maybe or something more sinister? The supposed enquiry into supermarket practices has done absolutely nothing to change the situation. A lot of money spent for yet another worthless enquiry by Albo and his gabfest cohorts.
 
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I suspect Peter Woodforde is a victim of the Family Law Courts and the Child Support Agency. Both these organisations are geared heavily against the needs of the male in a failed relationship, which, in my view, is the case that Peter Woodforde has to face.

Anybody that blames the current or previous governments for this predicament has rocks in their head. The CSA is above and beyond the law.
 
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The last government didn’t exactly do a lot to help either!
Yes, Since Paul Keating loser-pays idiocy has ruined Australia. If ya'll vote for Thatcherism, what we see is what we get. Now we have got it. This country is filthy rich and all that happens is that Australian people impoverish Australians, quite deliberately.
 
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And we have an incompetent government that isn't doing anywhere near enough to rectify this problem
If they did do something to rectify "the problem" you'd be whingeing about having to pay more tax. If you want to learn how to fix the problem, see what the British post-war Attlee government started in 1945. Oh, but that's "socialism"; we can't have that in Australia can we? 1 million Council Houses in 5 years and continuing to be built even under Eden, MacMillan and Douglas-Home (Tories); a National Health Service that set world standards for delivery of public health, among other "socialist" endeavours. But the top rate of income tax was between 83% and 60% .
 
Yes, Since Paul Keating loser-pays idiocy has ruined Australia. If ya'll vote for Thatcherism, what we see is what we get. Now we have got it. This country is filthy rich and all that happens is that Australian people impoverish Australians, quite deliberately.
It's called greed
 
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Unfortunately things have worsened dramatically in the past 18-24 months - a sign of the times - maybe or something more sinister? The supposed enquiry into supermarket practices has done absolutely nothing to change the situation. A lot of money spent for yet another worthless enquiry by Albo and his gebfest cohorts.
As usual..... all talk and no action ... we demand action.....
 
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If they did do something to rectify "the problem" you'd be whingeing about having to pay more tax. If you want to learn how to fix the problem, see what the British post-war Attlee government started in 1945. Oh, but that's "socialism"; we can't have that in Australia can we? 1 million Council Houses in 5 years and continuing to be built even under Eden, MacMillan and Douglas-Home (Tories); a National Health Service that set world standards for delivery of public health, among other "socialist" endeavours. But the top rate of income tax was between 83% and 60% .
Is that not the problem with socialism - give with one hand, take away with the other? A nice idea, but it has not worked over time?
 
Is that not the problem with socialism - give with one hand, take away with the other? A nice idea, but it has not worked over time?
You clearly don't want to understand what I mean. I refer to the basic tenet of Christianity practiced on a national scale. Helping those less well-off either through their ill-health or their simply bad luck of being born to families who are not run by rich mummies and daddies. When politicians set out to sell off public resources, paid for by the public and such as public housing formerly used by those who would nowhave to live in tents that is, to put it politely, anti-social, if not downright theft, by those politicians completely lacking in any sense ofsocial responsibility.

If private enterprise is so good, how come the now-privatised UK is such a horrible mess socially and economically? The rot set in in 1979. Thatcherism, and idiot Tories.
 
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Is that not the problem with socialism - give with one hand, take away with the other? A nice idea, but it has not worked over time?
You clearly don't want to understand what I mean. I refer to the basic tenet of Christianity practiced on a national scale. Helping those less well-off either through their ill-health or their simply bad luck of being born to families who are not run by rich mummies and daddies. When politicians set out to sell off public resources, paid for by the public and such as public housing formerly used by those who would now have to live in tents that is, to put it politely, anti-social, if not downright theft, by those politicians completely lacking in any sense of social responsibility.

If private enterprise is so good, how come the now-privatised UK is such a horrible mess socially and economically? The rot set in in 1979. Thatcherism, and idiot Tories.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johan van Zalen
You clearly don't want to understand what I mean. I refer to the basic tenet of Christianity practiced on a national scale. Helping those less well-off either through their ill-health or their simply bad luck of being born to families who are not run by rich mummies and daddies. When politicians set out to sell off public resources, paid for by the public and such as public housing formerly used by those who would now have to live in tents that is, to put it politely, anti-social, if not downright theft, by those politicians completely lacking in any sense of social responsibility.

If private enterprise is so good, how come the now-privatised UK is such a horrible mess socially and economically? The rot set in in 1979. Thatcherism, and idiot Tories.
...twice as clear!
 

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