’200 applications for five houses’: Inside the rental crisis

A WOMAN has told of the overwhelming stress caused by Hervey Bay's rental shortage.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she had been approved for a home last week after almost two months of searching and she was still pinching herself.

"I have just had an application approved on October 9 and we had less than five weeks before our lease ended," she said.

"I am still pinching myself that it is a reality.

"I consider myself one of the lucky ones as so many other families have been looking for a lot longer than us and still don't have somewhere to call home. "

The woman said despite being good tenants, it had proven difficult to find a home.

"My husband and I both have long term stable jobs and my income is quite high," she said.

"We were knocked back for three places based on the fact that we had pets even though it stated 'pets on application'.

"The only reason we had to leave our current rental was due to the new local owners wanting to live at the property.

"The whole process of applying for a rental is very stressful and time consuming.

"You literally had to apply for anything and everything just to be in with a chance.

"I spent hours scouring the internet for the latest updates on rentals, driving past to check out the location of the properties.

"Some rentals were leased before you even had a chance to apply.

"Understandably real estates were capping the number of applications and then won't accept any more, so you had to be very quick to get your application done.

"One real estate agent told me that they had over 200 applications for five houses that they had on their books, plus so many more inquiries."

The woman said something needed to be done to address the current rental crisis in the region.

Last week Stuart Taylor, independent candidate for Hervey Bay called on the State Government to address the growing issue of housing shortages.

"Despite a booming local real estate market Hervey Bay continues to experience an undersupply of residential housing, which is forcing people into crisis accommodation and even homelessness," he said.

"In a perfect world, housing would be plentiful and affordable for buyers and renters.

"Unfortunately, we have an undersupply of affordable residential housing here in Hervey Bay and it's only getting worse."

Active Agents Principal Leasing Agent Tara Bradbury told the Chronicle housing had been an issue for the electorate and COVID had only exacerbated the issue.

Ms Bradbury said the pandemic had made people move to the area for work or to be closer to family during these tough times.