Tamara Clarry says the Rotorua housing market is "crazy" and it's degrading she is not able to get her own place.
The 23-year-old is living in a sleepout at the back of a friend's parents' home in Glenholme.
"It's temporary until I get on my feet and can afford somewhere to live. It's crazy out there, it's insane."
Ms Clarry said she has been searching since the end of January, consistently looking at what is available on Facebook groups, Trade Me and on rental agency websites.
Originally from Rotorua, she moved back two years ago after working at Whakapapa.
"I thought I'd move back to Rotorua as it's my hometown and because I'm on the sickness benefit as well, I can't afford that much, and the prices have gone too crazy to afford a decent place.
• Tenants struggle to find homes as rents increase
"The decent houses that are available are snapped up. It's just insane. By the time you ask for a viewing someone's already got it."
Ms Clarry has severe endometriosis, having gone through five surgeries already.
"I don't want to be on the sickness benefit but at the moment that's it. I'm entitled to it but I actually don't want to be on it, it'd be my preference not to."
She is currently working a couple of casual cleaning jobs.
"For a lot of the rental agencies you need to have a full-time job which is hard because it completely wipes me out of being considered. It's really bad that people are in this situation."
She said at the viewings she'd attended there were always lots of people.
"I've only been to a couple as the ones I've applied for - I'd see it, apply, they would say they would get back to you with the viewing time and then I'd get back a 'sorry this property has already been rented'. It's just a waste of time."
She said she knew of three to four others in situations like hers, where they wanted to move out of where they currently were but felt like they can't because of the rental situation.
"It's the prices, and not enough houses."
When asked by the Rotorua Daily Post what her ideal place would be, she said she wasn't fussy.
"I'd be open to absolutely anything that I can afford."
She said she would move in with family in Hamilton or Tauranga if she could, but there is no room.
"My support system is here, but you know what if I had to I'd sleep in my car . . . someone needs to step in and figure out some system. It's just not fair."
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