A critical shortage of housing and escalating rental prices are triggering a catastrophic level of homelessness across the Border and North East.
Besieged service providers say they are buckling under the demand with an unprecedented number of people facing housing insecurity.
With rental vacancy rates at less than 1 per cent and a social housing wait of up to 10 years in parts of the region, affordable housing is in critically short supply, says Albury-based support agency Yes Unlimited.
Young people, families, victims of domestic violence and those with mental health issues are being hardest hit but front-line workers also report previously unseen groups of people are seeking help from services.
Yes Unlimited CEO Di Glover said Albury's youth refuge was full, necessitating a waiting list for young people in crisis.
"We haven't seen this probably ever in my 20 years, it's a bad situation," Ms Glover said.
"It's a crisis and my fear is things are going to get worse before they're going to get better.
"All the great crisis and early intervention programs like youth refuges mean nothing if there's not housing."
Ms Glover said some people were applying for 50 to 60 rental properties and still making no headway.
"We've got people on much higher incomes, people who are working, who are taking affordable properties because there's nothing else," she explained.
"We're seeing professional people who can't get housing, people who have had very successful long-term tenancies."
Over the border at Wodonga's Junction Support Services, Rachel Habgood says one of the most alarming aspects of the current crisis is the number of new people seeking support from their service.
"I think we're talking about a whole new level of disadvantage," she said.
"We're quite used to working with people who have struggled with poverty for a long period but we're now seeing this middle group of people coming through who would never usually need to utilise our services.
"We've had people turn down jobs here at Junction because they haven't been able to find accommodation locally.
"These are professionals, people earning a great wage but just can't get into the market.
"So what does that look like for the disadvantaged in our community?"
(During business hours)
(During business hours)
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.