Wagga Wagga residents are seeing dozens and dozens of rental applications rejected in a matter of weeks as the NSW Riverina city faces an ongoing rental crisis.
Mount Austin renters Eric Woodham and Cassia Ware are struggling with the stress of finding a suitable rental before their looming eviction on April 28.
The duo has applied for 20 properties since in a mere two months, but have been rejected every time.
"I'm very distraught about it," Ms Ware said. "I'm terrified. There's got to be more awareness, this rental situation is going to lead to so many homeless people."
The single mum of two boys teamed up with Mr Woodham, her best friend from high school, in a bid to improve her chances of securing a new home, but so far has had no luck.
"We've got two on the lease, we decided with the extra money coming in we might have a better chance but we've got nothing," Mr Woodham said.
The pair are looking in the especially tight market of homes under $350 per week that will accept their pets, an almost impossible goal these days.
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Mrs Ware has had to apply for social housing because of the scarcity of rentals, but she joins about 400 people already on the waiting list in Wagga, with demand up almost 30 per cent in the past 12 months.
Mr Woodham said the pair feel they have exhausted all their options and are now using social media and social connections to try and secure a private rental.
"It just feels like there's nothing available, it's horrible," he said. "We've had people suggest places outside of town, but I have epilepsy so I can't drive, I need to be central."
Rosie Chapman, a leasing agent with Raine and Horne, said people being rejected for this many applications is commonplace. "It's definitely a widespread thing that is happening because of the shortage of houses we have compared with the applicants," she said.
Miss Chapman has just 15 rentals currently available and can receive more than 30 applicants for a single house.
"It's scary and really sad," she said. "There's just not enough in Wagga, it makes you think where will everyone go."
The Professionals' Paul Irvine said it has never been harder to secure a rental in Wagga, but he is optimistic about availability.
"I've done this for 30 years, it absolutely is the hardest time I've ever seen," he said.
"I do believe there is always something available and looking at the current rent list in Wagga it's a little bit better than a few months ago."
In February, the city's rental vacancies hit their lowest rate in 15 years at a staggering 0.6 per cent.
Ron Maxwell, the CEO of VERTO who provide an advice and advocacy service for tenants, said many like Eric can be at risk of homelessness.
"In regional areas in the current climate, a lack of supply means that if you are evicted, you often have no other place to go," Mr Maxwell said.
"In the last six month period, VERTO assisted more than 350 clients in the Wagga Wagga region. Of those clients, 33 per cent were considered as "at risk of homelessness"."
Ms Ware is worried her options are running out.
"I have nightmares of being locked out of my house," she said. "We've looked everywhere, we've called everyone, we just need a house."