Homelessness has taken on a new face on the Border in recent years, one far from the image of a person living rough on the streets.
Indeed, the far more accurate way to represent the day-to-day reality is the hidden homeless.
And the cause is a housing market where private rentals cannot be found - or if they can, the competition is too fierce and the asking price too high for many - and the public housing stock is stagnant in number and rundown in quality.
"Couch-surfing" has become the mainstay of life for so many on the Border, where bunking in with friends or family on an ad-hoc basis becomes the norm. These have not been isolated cases. Housing case workers have told of their fears and their frustrations on many occasions in recent years, of the sheer number of people who struggle to get an affordable roof over their head.
What has especially stood out is the cross-section of the community who have been hit - it's not just a small minority, not the poorest of the poor. Albury, plus the wider Border region, just does not have anywhere near the public housing stock required.
If that investment was made, both substantially and over a lengthy period of time, the pressure could ease. More people could find homes more quickly, with the undoubted socio-economic benefits this brings. And getting more people into public housing in turn takes pressure off the private rental market.
This is why yesterday's announcement on the building on 540 social housing homes - in a landmark agreement between the NSW government and Albury Council - is so significant.
The deal, which also involves about 700 private dwellings, will do much to address a situation that successive state governments have, in effect, abandoned.
The relatively short time frame, stretching out 10 years to 2032, shows that there will be a genuine momentum in the program, while the fact some of the city's most downtrodden public housing will be rejuvenated is also significant.
The deal promises to be a major milestone in the strengthening of the social fabric of our community in a way like no other.
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