Rental supply at crisis point

GRIFFITH'S crisis accommodation centres have been forced to refuse destitute locals as the region's housing woes escalate.

Real estate agents are reporting would-be rental tenants are spending weeks searching for somewhere to live without luck.

The Real Estate Institute of New South Wales has also revealed the Murrumbidgee region had the lowest rental availability in the state during January, slipping 0.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent.

Salvation Army crisis centre manager Peter Woodward has amended his own rules to cope with the scarcity of rental properties.

"We've had to extend the 12-week cap because people are finding it so hard to independently fund accommodation," Mr Woodward said.

"We have also had to refer people on to Housing NSW where they might get a couple of days but nothing long term.

"There's just too high demand for affordable accommodation in Griffith and the problem is spiralling out of control."

Griffith Women's Refuge manager Yvonne Wilson said the housing problem jeopardised the centre's capacity to offer shelter to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

"Frequently we have no vacancies because a lot of people find it difficult to find low-cost rental properties," Ms Wilson said.

"One of the problems is that the scarcity forces people into rental properties they can't afford and then they get themselves into financial difficulties, and that's a constant circle.

"We try and maintain a flow-through otherwise we'd never have any beds for women and children experiencing domestic violence who need a safe place for a short period of time.

"Griffith is known to be a high-cost rental market, even compared to other areas within the Murrumbidgee and certainly higher than Wagga."

Griffith property manager Megan O'Sullivan had fewer listings than usual.

"There are lots of people who aren't moving out of their rentals, they're trying to stay put because they have less options," Ms O'Sullivan said.

"People looking for rental properties are coming in quite often and in some cases weeks apart, suggesting they are finding it very hard.

"The toughest part of the market is the middle band of properties between $200 and $250 per week."


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