Rental pressures are, in the words of Maree McKenzie from Homes North West, putting the brakes on rural communities.
We are seeing a problem that is widespread.
Some communities have no rentals listed publicly, with real estate agents having a waiting list that sees properties filled when they become available.
Last week I returned from three weeks long service leave, during which time I saw the problem up close.
Visiting the Gold Coast I stayed with a friend who is studying at Broadbeach's New York Film Academy and working part-time jobs. But she had not had anywhere to live since before Easter, and had returned home to New England region for a month before going back there.
When I visited this month, first we were at a backpackers, then a hotel while my friend continued to try and find a place to live.
We visited inspections for rentals and spoke to others desperately trying to find somewhere to live. Those inspections felt like a support group for people facing homelessness.
Elsewhere we met others who lamented it was a full-time job simply trying to find a place. If you're working and cannot apply for rentals as soon as they became available, they are gone by the time you see them.
It was a stressful time.
Just before I left to return home, after two weeks there, my friend managed to find a place, along with an acquaintance, an electrician who had been sleeping in his work vehicle, and they're now paying $680 a week for a one-bedroom place at Chevron Island with one of them sleeping in the living area.
But it was a relief that it meant having a roof over their heads.
Closer to home, Ms McKenzie said 'economically disadvantaged' people are the first to be affected when the demand for housing grows and rents increase.
She raised concerns that there is no strategy to develop affordable housing, which was a sentiment also expressed by Business NSW regional manager Joe Townsend this month.
It's a widespread problem that is going to take a long time to fix.
I spoke to a real estate agent while on the Gold Coast who commented he now felt blessed because he walked through the door of a house he owned at the end of each day.
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