PEOPLE struggling to find public housing can face up to a 10-year wait, the NSW Department of Communities and Justice has confirmed.
The department said there were 359 applicants on the list in Albury, in the NSW-Victoria border region, from a NSW total of nearly 50,000.
Department figures confirmed for a studio or one-bedroom apartment, there was a five- to 10-year wait for public housing.
The figures show 338 general applicants from Albury, with 21 on the priority list.
A department spokesman said the government was working hard to solve the housing crisis, particularly since the COVID pandemic put many out of work.
"The Land and Housing Corporation has been working closely with Albury City Council to explore options to unlock housing supply, which includes initiatives such as fast-tracking the redevelopment of stock that is no longer fit-for-purpose, as well as partnering with community housing providers," the spokesman said.
"The Department of Communities and Justice provides social housing to eligible applicants as quickly as possible and has several housing supply and support programs in place."
A pregnant woman who lost her job as a shearer after her finger was severed has joined the growing ranks of people struggling to find a home in the Border region.
Leearna Cook, 34, who was living out of her car until she found temporary accommodation at a motel in Wodonga, said she was lucky to be on the list, but she said her chances of finding suitable lodgings for her and her baby were slim.
Ms Cook said assurances from the government failed to "identify the very real problem people are facing every day".
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Ms Cook, who suffers from diabetes and is waiting to have a heart operation, said state and local housing support services in both NSW and Victoria were unable to help her.
"I have contacted Beyond Housing and DFFH and have been fortunate enough to be placed on the priority public housing list but even as a priority, they can't guarantee me a proper house to raise my child in for possibly up to several years which is absolutely heartbreaking as a mother," Ms Cook said.
"You want to provide the very best for your child and every child deserves a proper home to grow up in.
"Each time I try to contact either service for help and support in any way I'm given the royal run around. One tells you need to contact the other and the other says the very same thing and you end up getting nowhere in a hurry."
Beyond Housing client services manager Catherine Jefferies said she sympathised with anyone struggling to find accommodation and understood their anger and frustration.
"We don't deny anyone a service - but there are so many factors that are out of our control," Mr Jefferies said.
"It is a very difficult situation in Albury and Wodonga, but it is a nationwide crisis. There is a lack of accommodation and this is affecting people everywhere, but especially people on low incomes."
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