After being told he'd have to move out of his Wagga social housing unit in October, Bob Bradley began looking for other places to live.
But the 76-year-old was met with a rental market ravaged by the national housing crisis, leaving almost every property out of his reach.
So he bought a tent, set it up and returned once again to the homeless lifestyle he had previously lived for almost four decades.
"I was in a no man's land where I couldn't win either way - so I decided to come back and pitch up a tent," he said.
In other news:
Australians over the age of 55 are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness, with many sharing similar stories to Mr Bradley.
The issue has become the subject of a NSW upper house inquiry, which plans to look into how the housing situation has impacted the number of older people being forced onto the street.
Committee chairman Scott Barrett, a Nationals MLC, said the inquiry will look into possible solutions including early intervention and improved services.
It will also focus greatly on data collection and best practices in other states and overseas, while also paying particular attention to the impacts on older women.
Belinda McMahon, manager of Sisters Housing Enterprise in Wagga, said she has witnessed first-hand the increase in older women seeking support.
"In 2019, the percentage of women who came to us for support that were identified as being over 55 was about 5.3 per cent," she said.
"This year, we are sitting at about 8.7 per cent so that is a pretty big increase in older women who are at risk of going homeless."
Mrs McMahon said the issue in Wagga was intrinsically linked with the housing crisis and, in particular, the severe lack of available social and affordable housing.
"There's no exit point for the women who come through our service because there just isn't enough housing - it's incredibly difficult," she said.
Submissions to the inquiry close on Friday, May 29 and the committee is due to hand down its recommendations by September 30.
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