A study from Auspoll ranked the electorate fifth among Victorian suburbs where low income earners spent more than 30 per cent of their wages on rent.
Josephine Barnes, coordinator of Samaritan House, told the Geelong Advertiser rental stress was one of Geelong’s most serious and unexposed issues.
"It is almost impossible for anyone on a single Newstart Allowance to find affordable accommodation. Men end up in a hotel, but for women and children and families it's really hard," she said. "We know there are women and children who sleep in cars."
RP Data’s annual Rent vs Buy report has shown there are 34 suburbs in the Barwon region where it is cheaper to buy a property on an interest-only loan than it is to rent.
On a whole, Melbourne holds the second lowest number of suburbs across the state capitals where taking out a mortgage is cheaper than renting.
David Stolper, senior research partner at Auspoll, told the Geelong Advertiser the federal government could improve the situation by "incentivising the development of new homes".
"People are angry and frustrated by the lack of affordable housing, but this anger has yet to be directed at our political leaders," he said.
Recent Auspoll findings have shown that 84 per cent of Australian voters are more worried about housing affordability than education or border security.