A nearly 100-year-old woman has been forced from her home after her pension was cut off while she was trapped abroad during the pandemic.
Sarah Mullett, 97, has slept on her son’s couch for eight months in his one-bedroom unit in the inner Sydney suburb of Glebe after losing her home to the Department of Housing.
“I want my house; my bedroom,” Sarah told A Current Affair.
The elderly woman became trapped in South America while visiting family when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and Australia’s borders closed.
Her son said she had a return ticket for April 8, 2020, but was unable to board that flight.
Even when international travel resumed, Mollett was unable to find a suitable flight home for several months.
“There was a flight available across the Middle East, it was 40 hours long and she couldn’t do it anyway because of her fragile age,” said Sergio Mollet.
Despite being trapped abroad through no fault of her own, the federal government cut her pension in half, saying she had been abroad too long to receive the full amount.
The reduced amount means she is unable to afford the rent on the community housing unit she has lived in for nearly 20 years.
“My house was beautiful inside, beautiful,” said Mrs. Mullett.
“It got to the point where she said just give them the keys and give up the house, because she can’t afford it, she can barely eat.”
Back in Australia in July 2022, Molly has nowhere to go except for her son’s tiny flat.
She recently discovered that her old unit has been housed and no one lives in it, adding to her anguish.
Her son has asked the NSW Department of Justice and Communities for a two-bedroom unit that they can share, so he can look after his frail mother.
“They act as if they are against you,” said Mr. Mollett, “and they act as if you were the enemy.”
Late Friday, the department has come up with two potential homes for the couple, the ACA reported.
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