VICKI Webb, of Ballina, considers herself to be very lucky to have something most of us simply take for granted.
The mother of four grown-up children and a 10-year-old this week attended a Ballina District Community Services Association (BDCSA) barbecue to mark World Homeless Day.
It was through the BDCSA that Ms Webb was able to secure a North Coast Community Housing home - one of 70 community housing units in Ballina.
And her story highlights the changing profile of those in the community who find it hard to find a place to live.
She was in a relationship when she moved to Ballina six years ago.
The relationship broke down, and then Ms Webb had a fall at home, with her injuries made worse by osteoporosis.
Ms Webb, now 46, was left to survive on a disability pension, but the increasing rental costs in Ballina meant she couldn't find a place to live. Commercially rented properties generally don't allow tenants to move in to properties if the rent exceeds 30 per cent of income.
"It's very hard to find housing," she said.
"I applied for several places but kept getting knocked back.
"If it wasn't for them (BDCSA), I don't know if we (Ms Webb and her son) would have made it."
She said she didn't want to move away from Ballina as her son attends school here, and she didn't want to be in a share house.
Colin Jones, the housing services manager for North Coast Community Housing, said the "housing shortage in coastal towns is extreme".
He estimated there were about 350 public housing properties in Ballina, which was a high-demand area.
He said those trying to get into public housing could wait more than a year.
And Susan Zann, a BDCSA case manager, said that leads people into caravan parks or "couch surfing".
She said the profile of those struggling to put a roof over their heads includes pensioners, but also the "working poor" - young families with an income, but one that doesn't take them above the 30 per cent commercial rental rule.
She said adding to the problem were increasing utility costs.
Matt Wyles, the Salvation Army's family housing worker, said the Salvos were seeing more people "putting their hand out" for help for the first time.
The BDCSA's executive officer, Dianna Howell, said it was time that all levels of government worked together to provide affordable, sustainable housing.
It's very hard to find housing
A unique opportunity exists to build an architecturally designed home in the prestigious and highly popular Oasis Resort. Elevated and secluded, this 302m2 block...
Here is an exceptional opportunity to purchase in the ever popular Byron Bay Arts & Industrial Estate. This unit is set over two levels. The lower floor space is...
This desirable townhouse is in a great location within easy walking distance to Byron Bay's town centre, beaches, schools, sporting fields and metres to the...
This quality built home is in an elevated position capturing beautiful breezes in the tightly held village of Bangalow. An easy walk to shops and restaurants and...
Spacious, modern and architecturally designed this townhouse will impress upon inspection. Set in an highly sought after, ultra convenient location where a 2...
Occupying a stunning 7490m2, this property offers privacy with a spacious brick rendered home plus separate studio with its own completely separate access. The...
Here is a rare opportunity to purchase in 'Byron Botanica'- one of the most upmarket and exclusive estates for the individual insisting on the highest standards of...
Set on 2685m2 (over half an acre), this Newrybar property offers a real sense of privacy and elevation with a beautiful, vast rural outlook, granny flat...
This gorgeous north facing, light filled home is located in a quiet secluded area of Suffolk Park and only 100 metres from the dog friendly beach. On entering the...
Superbly positioned in beachside Suffolk Park, this family home offers easy living and entertaining options for all. Immaculate throughout, features include an...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.