The council of Tweed Shire in northern New South Wales has declared a housing emergency due to a lack of available and affordable housing in the area.

At a recent meeting, the council resolved to write both the federal and state governments asking to “explore further opportunities for additional social and affordable housing in the Tweed.”

According to Tweed mayor Chris Cherry, a growing number of residents were now finding they could no longer afford to live in the Shire.

"Council highlighted the lack of affordable and available housing in the Tweed back in 2018,” said Cherry. “COVID has accentuated this and what we are now seeing is a marked acceleration in this trend caused by people moving from cities and buying properties in the Tweed.”

Cherry added that local real estate agents are reporting record sales and an increase in rents that is “unprecedented.”

“Given that we're also experiencing historically low rental availability, it signifies that there is stress right across the rental market,” said Cherry. “This translates on the ground to families with two incomes who cannot afford to live in the Tweed.”

"This is a whole of community and whole of government issue. With rising rough sleeper counts, the situation is getting much worse on a daily basis as the buying boom continues,” said Cherry.