A "SHOCKING" lack of long-term and affordable private rental properties is continuing to cause frustration in Leeton.
Anglicare's annual Rental Affordability Snapshot has revealed a continued decline in rental affordability for low income families living in Leeton and the wider Riverina.
The report, now in its 10th year, shows a lack of of long-term, affordable private rental properties, with none available for young people relying on the youth allowance or Newstart payments.
Anglicare's Riverina/Murrumbidgee regional manager community services Kristy Daley said the trend in Leeton was reflected in other parts of regional NSW.
"There are less available vacancies as well as less affordability," she said.
"The particular concern for Leeton, and other regional areas, is that smaller communities can feel a bigger impact as people are forced to move to larger regional hubs or metro areas just to find affordable, suitable places to live.
"Regional communities are perceived as being more affordable but, as these statistics show, housing affordability is not just a an issue for metro areas - it's a national problem."
The snapshot surveyed 1919 properties advertised for rent in Wagga and 7 properties for rent in Leeton on March 23 in terms of affordability and appropriateness to accommodate the required number of people.
"There needs to be some serious housing reforms, which include greater availability of affordable housing options, increased assistance for low incomes families, and greater protections for tenants," Ms Daley said.
"Without safe and affordable housing people can't begin to focus on other areas of their lives like building healthy relationships, employment and education.
"The financial and emotional stress of living on the edge of homelessness can contribute to mental health problems and family breakdown.
"This issue affects entire communities."
Ms Daley was disappointed the snapshot had again painted a dire picture.
"I think people know that housing affordability is a problem, but may not understand just how serious it is," she said.
"Reports like (this) show a very bleak picture and it's the most vulnerable families who are hurting the most.
"For some of these families, it's not just the inconvenience of paying increasing rents.
"It can become a choice between whether to pay for groceries or pay rent."
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