There's still a need for rental scheme, first family says
JOLAN Lester's family was the first in the Gladstone region to benefit from the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
And when they secured the home two years ago, it couldn't have come at a better time.
"When our lease ran up at our previous rental, we were finding it very difficult to find a house in our budget," she said.
The family hadn't gone out of their way to find a helping hand, but stumbled into their good fortune searching for homes online.
"It was pretty stressful (at the time), because... our other place had sold, so we weren't going to be able to stay there," Ms Lester said.
"We were getting pretty desperate - even looking at out of town somewhere else which is not very good for family, because my step-children lived at Boyne Island.
"I didn't want to leave and not have our children all together."
But it had a happy ending, with the family all under one roof.
"We have all of the kids. We have share-care - that's 50% of the time," Ms Lester said.
Even though the housing market is easing, Ms Lester said there were still families that would benefit from the scheme as hers had.
"I think there are still a lot of families out there that are facing paying $600-700 a week in rent," she said.
"The rents have come down slightly, but there are still families out there struggling."