Elisha Matthews is a professional working in the disability and arts sectors, and is a wheelchair user.
Elisha lives with her children and pets on Brisbane’s northside.
She has rented homes for all of her adult life.
At the last couple of rental homes that Elisha has lived in, she has put in requests to make temporary modifications to the homes in order to make the physical space, safe.
At one home, Elisha offered to pay for a simple handrail to be located in the bathroom, and offered to restore the bathroom back to its original condition upon ending of the lease. Agreement with the landlord could not be reached, and Elisha subsequently had to have a support person and shower chair, simply in order to be able to have a shower.
At another home, Elisha requested to install a small ramp at the front door, again at her own cost and with the undertaking to restore back to original condition at lease end. The landlord would not agree to the request, and Elisha had to use the garage to enter and exit the property. This meant that only one of the two car spaces in the garage could be used for a vehicle.
On another occasion, after having specifically rented a property due to it having ducted air-conditioning installed (AC is required to maintain Elisha’s body temperature), the AC stopped working. It took literally weeks for the real estate agent to get someone to fix it, as they deemed AC not a necessity. But for Elisha, it is.
Elisha has spent years and years of having to ‘make do’ after very reasonable requests to make life easier through modifications, have been knocked back. Fortunately, Elisha has recently moved into a property owned by her sister, who is more than happy to accommodate the modification work to enhance Elisha’s lifestyle.