As rental costs in the Shoalhaven continue to soar, anti-poverty campaigners are calling for rent assistance to be lifted by a minimum of 50 per cent.
Latest figures reveal rents on the South Coast have risen 24.4 per cent in the 12 months to June.
Yet rent assistance has remained largely unchanged for 20 years, Anti-Poverty Week Executive Director Toni Wren said the situation needed to be changed.
"If you're on income support you're entitled if you're renting to get a Commonwealth rent assistance payment," she said.
"Now that's been the same amount, except adjusted for inflation, since the year 2000 - which is about $70 to $74 a week maximum."
Ms Wren said the low rent assistance amount was forcing people to go without necessities just to afford rent.
"People are having to take their basic income support which is meant to be for food, for medicine, for transport, for clothes, for energy bills, and pay it towards their rent because rent assistance is too low, so we're calling for a 50 per cent increase in that payment, at a minimum," she said.
She also called for governments of all levels to work together to create more social and affordable housing to help people with fixed incomes having to meet the high costs of the private rental market.
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