LOW-to-middle income earners will lose access to more than 400 subsidised properties in Ballarat as National Rental Affordability Scheme winds down in the next seven years.
Thirty-four properties will be dropped from the program by the end of next year.
Sebastopol (79 properties), Alfredton (61), Ballarat central (49) and Mitchell Park (37) are set to be the hardest hit suburbs with subsidised dwellings to expire by the end of 2025.
This comes as the latest rental vacancy Ballarat remains a steady low 2.1 per cent, according to Real Estate Institute of Victoria figures released on Wednesday.
Ballarat vacancy rates remain above average for regional Victoria (1.7 per cent) and improved on the city's 0.7 per cent rate from 12 months ago.
Healthy vacancy rates are deemed to be between three and four per cent, according to the REIV.
Community welfare advocates warn the disappearance of the NRAS boost will have strong ripple effects on the region.
Uniting Ballarat's Warrick Davison, acting senior manager for housing and homelessness, said the program was aimed to give a boost to those at-risk of financial stress in the community.
This will really put people in a difficult condition and not just people living on low-incomes.Wes Davison, Uniting Ballarat
"Financial stress is impacting everyone. This is aimed for low-to-middle income earners, who are moving closer and closer to homelessness particularly with the rising cost of living, rising energy bills and casualisation of the work force," Mr Davison said.
"This will really put people in a difficult condition and not just people living on low-incomes."
NRSA began in 2008 by the federal government to help address a shortage of available housing across Australia. The scheme offers incentives to owners to offer their properties for rent capped at 80 per cent of the market rate.
Ms Davison said public housing supply was already under an incredible strain and other programs working to deliver affordable housing would have to think bigger and bigger.
Ballarat federal MP Catherine King said removing the NRSA subsidy would cause rents to jump an average of 38 per cent.
Ms King called on the Morrison Government to do more to prevent more people in Ballarat and nationwide from falling into financial hardship.
"NRAS has played an important role in supplying affordable housing to many across our community", Ms King said.
"The impending termination of this scheme without replacement is going to impact many families across our regions that are going to be forced to find more money in their already stretched budgets just to keep a roof over their heads."
The average house rental price in Ballarat is $350 per week, which is the same as the state average but higher than the average price in Bendigo of $330.
Rental prices for units and apartments in Ballarat have dropped to an average $250 per week, down from $278 in December.
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