Just renting: experiences of sole mother non-home owners living in Northern NSW, Australia
Holdsworth, L 2010, Just renting: experiences of sole mother non-home owners living in Northern NSW, Australia, VDM Verlag Dr. Müller GmbH & Co KG, Saarbrücken, Germany.
The goal of owning one's home, as opposed to 'just renting', is deeply ingrained in Australian culture. Indeed, homeownership is seen as 'natural' and has been adopted by the majority as the tenure of choice. In this book it is argued that the prevailing attitude is that homeownership equates with social and personal attributes such as success and stability, giving the homeowner greater status and choice compared to renters. This in turn contributes to the notion of home and sense of identity which comes through allowing people to put down roots and express personal tastes. Low income sole mother families constitute a social group that is particularly disadvantaged by their housing situation. This qualitative study draws on a critical feminist approach and utilises in-depth interviews to explore the housing experiences of 32 sole mother renters living in Northern NSW. It is argued that the challenges faced by this group of women need to be acknowledged. Policy needs to be introduced that recognises that the main function of housing should be to provide secure and stable homes for all, which after all is both a basic need and a right.