There’s concern the Hunter’s homelessness crisis is only worsening, as the number of available rentals hits an all-time low.
New data reveals just 0.7 percent of properties across the region were vacant in December last year.
A healthy market usually hovers around a 2.5 percent home vacancy.
The Hunter Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service are concerned more and more people are facing eviction and homelessness.
Coordinator Nicole Grgas says it’s a shocking situation.
“They might not necessarily be homeless in what we think, that they’ve got no bed, but they’re going from relative’s house to relative’s house,” Ms Grgas.
“We hear families are having to split up to stay with relatives, or people having to put all of their goods in storage because they’ve just got nowhere to move on to.”
It’s likely driven by a number of factors, such as rising rents, low supply due to more out-of-town renters and buyers looking for a seachange, and bidding wars for private rentals.
Many locals have reported termination of rental contracts as their homes are put on the market by the owner.
Ms Grgas says the issue isn’t likely to go away on its own.
“One of the things that seems to be putting a lot of pressure on tenants in our region are the rent increases, and no grounds notices,” Ms Grgas said.
“It’s something that we think can be looked at and legislated.”
“It would take pressure off people who are currently in rental housing, because what they’re saying to us is, I’ve got this rental increase, it’s now unaffordable, and now I need to relocate.”
The organisation is also calling for more investment in social housing to alleviate pressure on the market.