New research has revealed one in eight women living in regional Australia has been homeless in the past five years and one in four has lived in temporary accommodation because they couldn't afford the private rental market.
The Women's Housing Needs in Regional Australia report is the first national study into women's access to safe, affordable housing outside Australia's capital cities and involved 1039 women living on low to moderate incomes in regional areas.
Of the 20 regional NT women who participated in the study, two reported being homeless in the past five years and one was homeless at the time the research was conducted late last year.
In total, three knew of at least one other woman who was currently homeless.
YWCA National Housing and Property Development director Jan Berriman said the Women's Housing Needs in Regional Australia report revealed higher levels of homelessness than previous studies and statistics.
"One quarter of women who had been homeless, either in the past five years or currently, did not share their situation with any family member or friend, reflecting the likelihood of a much higher level of homelessness than previously understood," Ms Berriman said.
"This is the first national study of women's access to housing outside the nation's capital cities and it clearly shows an urgent need for more safe, secure and affordable accommodation."
The report found many women sacrificed daily essentials to meet their housing payments with 30 per cent reporting they went without meals in the past year and 44 per cent refraining from cooling or heating their homes.
"In regional areas, the impacts are even more severe because social services and supports are limited and strained to start with," she said.
"Domestic and family violence is the leading cause of homelessness in Australia, and lowincome women in the regions are even more likely to experience domestic violence than women who live in capital cities or who have high incomes.
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