A 28-year-old mum who was reduced to tears after her landlord doubled her weekly rent just days before Christmas has been forced to hit back at critics who have callously claimed she doesn’t deserve the sympathy.
Jakki Brooking, a registered nurse living in Perth, went viral for sharing that the home she’d raised her son in over the past six years had been sold and the rent wasn’t just increasing, it was doubling.
The mum explained her property was, until recently, a part of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), aimed at reducing rental costs for low-income earners at least 20 per cent below market rent.
“The house was recently sold, and the new owners didn’t want to go ahead with the same low-income scheme,” she explained.
The consequence of this decision was a staggering increase in rent, soaring from $300 to a crippling $630 per week, and she was in tears over it.
The stressed mum has now responded to a comment that said her situation wasn’t something she should expect sympathy for because she’d already had it good for long enough.
“You already had a good for a long time while others struggle. Too bad, so sad – be homeless or pay what we all pay,” the person commented.
Ms Brooking said she wanted to address “stupid” comments like that and clarified that she was more than happy to pay rent, but her single salary could only stretch so far.
“I can afford to pay rent within reason, but I can’t afford to pay over $640 in weekly rent,” she said.
Ms Brooking said that amount was impossible because it would be over half her salary, and she’d still have to pay bills and buy food.
She continued that she already knew what she could afford to rent, but her struggle was finding somewhere that would accept her tenant application.
“I’ve been getting rejected for every single rental. The issue is the rental crisis and the lack of rentals,” she said.
Ms Brooking also added that she was aware she’d need to be paying over $300 a week, and that was a reality she was “fine” with, but she still needed to find something affordable for her and her young son.
In a separate video, she also clarified that she’d cried in the first video because she was “stressed” and worried that she’d have nowhere to live.
She said she wasn’t crying about having to pay more rent and added that she didn’t think she deserved “special treatment” for being a single mum.
The mum also said that while she hadn’t secured somewhere to live yet, she wasn’t homeless because she’d had a friend offer for her to stay in their spare room while she kept applying to find a home.
Perth, in particular, has earned the unenviable title of “Australia’s toughest city for renters” in 2023.
PropTrack data revealed this year that nine of the nation’s 10 most competitive suburbs for rentals are located in Perth, even as demand in other cities decreases.
In Perth’s southern suburbs, the Bentley area in particular stands out with an astonishing average of 160 competitors per rental listing, triple the levels recorded in other Australian capitals.
The NRAS began in 2008 under the Rudd Government and will end in 2026.