SOARING rental prices in Greater Bendigo are putting strain on families, particularly sole parent households.
The region has experienced a 11.9 per cent jump in rental prices during the past year, with the median weekly rent now $437, Corelogic data has shown.
The Bendigo Mums 4 Mums group has raised the alarm over the rising costs, which it predicts will cause hardship this winter, as parents choose between heating bills and rent payments.
More news: 'Poverty Trap' in low JobSeeker rate
Group administrator Debra McMahon said a lot of single mothers were feeling the pinch to their household budgets.
"Rents are going up by $50 - $80 per week," she said.
"A lot of women are going to be homeless because they can't get decent jobs.
"I am dreading winter. They are saying now that if you are on any type of Centrlink payment you cannot afford private rental."
A recent report revealed more than 40 per cent of Greater Bendigo's tenants were experiencing financial stress. The report was commissioned by the Everybody's Home national campaign, formed by welfare groups.
The rise in rental accommodation costs has followed a nation wide trend affecting regional areas, with median costs of weekly rent in some towns blowing out by more than 20 per cent.
In the 12 months to February this year, Albury on the border of NSW and Victoria recorded the biggest jump, with median weekly rent prices rising 23.5 per cent to $443 a week.
The topic is shaping up as an election issue, with Labor leader Anthony Albanese pitching a Housing Australia Future Fund that could build up to 25,000 homes as a way of taking pressure off rising rents.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.