Poutiri Trust general manager Kirsty Maxwell-Crawford says the lack of emergency housing and transitional housing in Te Puke is creating ''bleak situations for families who literally have nowhere to live''.
''Some of the options that they have are to go into motels in Rotorua or in Tauranga, so we have families that are having to take their children out of schools and move into motels - that's not a sustainable solution to the situation.
''We definitely need a proactive strategy to start addressing this quickly, because the impact is just huge.''
Kirsty says the situation is affecting the whole community because it affects the ability to attract certain skill sets as housing is difficult to find and expensive.
''As a service that's involved in helping people, it is incredibly difficult right now to provide solutions and that's really frustrating for us because there really are very few solutions in terms of available rentals, even for those families who have stable, regular incomes.''
Multi-agency organisation Colab's Housing Advisory Group is looking at potential solutions.
''We are really blessed to be part of that network as we work together across organisations and with agencies such as Kāinga Ora to try and address the situation with sustainable options. But we don't have time to continue to plan and talk about this, we really do need an increase in supply of rental properties, transitional housing, emergency housing in our area, like yesterday.''
She says it is a complex issue that is having an impact across generations.
''We have old people who cannot afford to retire, we have young families who are being pushed out of our community because they can't find anywhere to live.''.
The Hub Te Puke general manager Scott Nicholson says the organisation, which provides a range of social services including the town's foodbank, is seeing more and more people inquiring about and looking for somewhere to live.
''There's not a lot that we can do actually do. We use our networks where possible to connect them with possible landlords and with the other agencies in town and MSD and Winz.''
He says there has been a big increase in people using the foodbank because a large proportion of their income is going on rent.
''Generally, the area that 'gives' in their budget is the food - either that or they end up in big trouble in terms of utilities and rent in terms of debt.''
For every rental property that becomes available, there are 50 or more applications.
And those applications can come within 24 hours of the listing.
Te Puke First National Real Estate property manager Adrienne Uerata says it's just one of the barometers that shows demand is outstripping supply.
''At the moment we don't have enough houses to house prospective tenants,'' she says.
She says some are coming to Te Puke from other towns, one being Rotorua.
''But moreso it's people coming back from Australia whose stomping ground was originally here, it's where they've grown up, and there are just not enough houses to house people.''
As a guide, she says about a year ago there would be three pages of properties available across the Bethlehem, Welcome Bay, Pāpāmoa and Te Puke offices, with about seven properties to a page.
''At the moment we are struggling to have one page of places to rent across the Bay of Plenty offices. It's the numbers available any one time - they are very low right now.''
The median rent for properties in Te Puke, according to Tenancy Services, it $500 a week.
When Te Puke Times spoke to her, Adrienne said she had very low numbers available, but had a one-bedroom unit on an owner's property for $465 a week.
The Healthy Homes Standards introduced in 2019 created minimum standards for heating, insulation, ventilation, moisture ingress and drainage, and draught stopping in rental properties.
All private rentals must comply within 90 days of any new or renewed tenancy after July 1 this year.
Adrienne, who manages a portfolio of 116 properties, says there hasn't been a noticeable number of landlords removing properties from the rental pool since the standards were introduced.
''I've had a couple sell, but most have been supportive of the legislation that has come in and just worked hard towards getting compliant and we are making sure we are screening [tenants] correctly.''
■ Are you struggling to find a rental property in Te Puke? Would you like to tell us your story? Email email@example.com or call 027 547 0453.