21 May Barb Pennington’s story
Less than 2 years after applying for a tenancy in the Affordable Housing Program, my family and I are grateful to be living with a sense of security that a home provides. The move to a Homes North (Armidale) rental property has given us the opportunity to make progress in ways that contribute to living well.
My husband and I, together with our school-aged son, relocated from Far North Queensland to Armidale a few years ago. In the tropics I often felt overwhelmed and depressed from the heat and humidity. Armidale was an easy decision as a new place to live. The Experience the Highs website was a winner. The biggest challenge was renting privately on much less income. My husband found work quickly but I didn’t.
Using textile design and production skills I learned at TAFE (only a couple of decades ago!), and a stash of discontinued, designer interior fabric samples that had been destined for the tip, I started a market stall selling handcrafted homewares. Now I’m at the Mall once a month with the The Good Fabric stall. I have also held a stall at the Walcha Quota Club Christmas Markets for the past two years. My ethos is that you do good often and in as many ways possible.
With the affordable rent from Homes North we have sustained a good lifestyle that is possible on one wage. I have enrolled in a business course to develop my skills and knowledge. My intention is to grow The Good Fabric to contribute to the family income.
I appreciate the opportunity to give thanks for what we have. One way of doing this is participating as the Secretary of the Armidale Tenants Group, established late last year. With Anne Wolfenden as our Tenant Participation Officer, the meetings are really comfortable, interesting and informative.
We love Armidale and feel good living here. No more tropical lows (or deep depressions) for me!