Homelessness is rising in areas with a shortage of affordable private rental housing and higher median rents, a study of homeless in Australia between 2001 and 2016 has revealed.
REIV data shows Ballarat's rental market is tight, with a 0.8 per cent rental vacancy rate, forcing dozens of applicants to compete in rental applications.
There are currently eight rental properties in Ballarat listed on Domain under $200 a week.
This is a concern for housing service Uniting Ballarat as staff struggle to keep up with demand for housing support.
Most service capacity for accommodation and support is located in and around inner capital city areas with less capacity in regional and remote areas.AHUI report
Uniting data shows more than 250 individuals are on the priority list for housing in Ballarat.
An Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report released last week says homelessness services across Australia are not well aligned with the changing geography of homelessness, stating a need for increased capacity in regional and remote areas.
"Most service capacity for accommodation and support is located in and around inner capital city areas with less capacity in regional and remote areas," the report authors wrote.
The Victorian government committed to 1000 new public housing properties across Victoria, including Ballarat, but welfare agencies across the state have said it will not be enough.
Figures show public housing makes up 3.5 per cent of the current housing stock in Victoria.
According to Uniting, to keep up with current population growth Victoria must build 1800 dwellings per year just to maintain that stock of social housing at 3.5 per cent.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which has 36 member countries, states nations seeking to have enough affordable housing should aim to have 20 to 30 per cent of housing stock as social housing.
Further data shows 82,500 people are on the Victorian public housing wait-list, including 25,000 children. The waitlist is increasing by 500 people a month.
Uniting is calling on the Victorian Government to commit to building 30,000 new social housing properties over the next 10 years.
The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute report authors recommend housing supply needs to match areas of population growth among lower income individuals and households in a way that also provides access to broader services, employment and amenities.
One in 56 Victorians accessed homelessness services in 2016-17, according to Uniting, higher than the national rate of one in 84.