COVID-19 has worsened the level of homelessness in Albury, deputy mayor Amanda Cohn and councillor David Thurley say.
The pair made the connection during debate at last night's council meeting over how the city could address the problem.
Cr Cohn said the issue was "critically important".
"Albury-Wodonga has some of the worst rates of homelessness in regional Australia," she said.
"This is an issue that has been getting worse for sometime as the town grows and has been particularly exacerbated by COVID over the last 18 months."
Cr Thurley spoke similarly.
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"I do agree with Cr Cohn, that the matter is getting worse - COVID has certainly exacerbated the whole situation," he said.
"Homelessness has been an issue here ever since I've been on council and it wouldn't be the first one we've had difficulties with down in the Noreuil Park area, but I believe anything we can do to augment, add to, improve what we presently do should be done.
"It's tough out there and...people for all sorts of reasons become homeless, it's not just layabouts and dropouts."
Cr Thurley's reference to the Murray River park followed councillor John Stuchbery introducing his motion for the city to build its own shelter after learning of a homeless pair at the wood-fired ovens in Hovell Tree Park.
Councillor Murray King had circulated his photographs of vagrants' belongings near the ovens to councillors and that contributed to Cr Stuchbery's move last night.
However, the motion that was successful ended up being broader after Cr Cohn moved an amendment.
It requested staff report to council on "options for investing in and/or facilitating additional crisis, social, and public housing in Albury".
Cr Cohn said waiting times for public housing in the city were between two to four years.
"When this is a council that is happy to acquire land and facilitate investment in, for example, industrial estates we should absolutely be considering the option to facilitate investment in public and social housing....so that we can get people not just out of the cold but into meaningful accommodation that will make a difference in their lives," she said.
Cr King said the council should be taking a lead role and not relying on the NSW government tackling the problem.
"I did photograph the poor conditions of the people in the shelter and whilst it's a wood-fired pizza oven it could have been any shelter in Albury," he said.
Cr King said he first raised the issue with mayor Kevin Mack three months ago, although the civic leader replied it was three weeks ago.
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