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The deadline is looming for Melissa Edmonds and her family, including her toddler Israel, who fear they may be homeless before the end of month as their rental property has been sold.

Melissa Edmonds is afraid her family will be left homeless before the end of the month if she cannot find another rental property.

She has been hunting for new accommodation for about a month. The rental she has lived in for the past four years sold recently.

It was proving difficult to convince potential landlords to take on the extended family of six despite having references, including from neighbours who are willing to vouch for them, she said.

“I have been looking every day and applied for so many houses but I am just not having any luck. I think it is hard to compete with everybody else because on paper we don’t look that good, because my brother and his girlfriend live with my partner who works full-time, myself and our two children.”

Ms Edmonds is not alone.

Bay social agencies say there has been a big increase in families struggling to find accommodation because of a shortage of rental properties and rising rent charges.

Ms Edmonds said she was desperate and had already contacted local motels to see how much it would cost to stay short-term.

They paid $310 a week in rent but that would have to rise to meet the market, she said.

“I think it’s terrible – even a two-bedroom house is $350 and that is ridiculous. I am looking at going up to $370 for a three-bedroom home in a nice area but it’s such a hike.”

“I don’t really want to pay that much but I need to put a roof over my kids’ heads.”

Tauranga Community Housing Trust manager Chris Johnstone said there was a lack of affordable rentals in the private market as well as a lack of social/community housing.

It had opened two medium-term facilities this year and “for the most part both have operated at full capacity,” she said.

“We aim to open another couple of medium-term places over the next 12 months, however, we are not funded to establish or operate these types of facilities so making real traction is slow.”

Te Tuinga Whanau Support Services Trust social services manager Pikiteora Russell said there had been a big increase in families being evicted and becoming homeless.

Often they did not have the funds to find alternative accommodation, she said.

“We are constantly engaging with people on a week-to-week basis who are either struggling to meet rental payments or facing eviction.”

Tauranga Budget Advisory Service manager Diane Bruin said Tauranga had a housing shortage because of supply and demand.

Increasing numbers of clients had sought help with rent arrears, she said.

“We see an increase in allocation of cost to rent in client budgets up more than 10 per cent.”

Cosy Corner Family Holiday Park owner Greg Davidson said it fielded up to six calls a day from people wanting to live long-term in a caravan but they did not cater for permanent residents.

“You have got to make a rule you either do it or you don’t…but there is demand for someone if they had the land to do a place like that.”

The Bay of Plenty Times reported last week the average cost of renting a home in the Western Bay had risen. At the top end of the market in Mount Maunganui, average rent increased $15 to $385 and the bottom end in Kaimai/Te Puke rent increased by $10 to $295.