Aged care residents face rental battle after being told to vacate Shoal Bay homes

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A pair of elderly men are battling soaring rents in their search for somewhere to live, after being told to vacate their homes in less than three months.  

Gary Buckingham and Donald Williams, who live at the Harbourside Haven Gardens Residential Aged Care Home at Shoal Bay, are among five men who have been told to vacate the facility by October 13. 

The men are residential tenants and do not receive high care. 

Mr Buckingham, 71, said he used a walking stick and mobility scooter to get around after suffering a workplace injury several decades ago.

He said he had been living at Harbourside Haven for six years and could not afford to live somewhere else. 

“We’ve got nowhere to go … we’re just getting turfed out and now we’ve got to try and scrape money together for bonds,” Mr Buckingham said. 

“We can’t afford to rent a flat or anything like that, $500 a week, you’ve got to be kidding.”

A beach with a pier, hills and boats on the water in the background.

The two men have lived in Shoal Bay for a combined 60 years.(ABC Newcastle: Romy Stephens)

Mr Buckingham said he received about $1,200 a fortnight on the pension, meaning $500 a week in rent was not feasible. 

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