A mother who has been couch surfing with her five-year-old son on the Sunshine Coast since November, fears she "will never have a home again" after unsuccessfully applying for more than 200 rental properties.
Loretta Guyatt has applied for rental homes from Bundaberg to Ipswich and west to Kilcoy.
"I don't feel safe anymore. I feel hopeless; every day is a struggle just not to give up," Ms Guyatt said.
"I can't see myself ever getting a house again."
Ms Guyatt said the situation has had a detrimental impact on her son's development and prevented her from booking NDIS-funded appointments because she had no fixed address.
"I've even gone through avenues of trying to see if I could use his school address and things like that but it's just too hard," she said.
"He's regressed in a few areas; he had medical issues before and struggles before this, but they have definitely gotten worse since."
Ms Guyatt said her son needed a weekly speech therapist, behavioural therapist and dietician since having a 2-kilogram tumour removed two years ago.
"He's meant to be starting normal school next year but I'm keeping him back because he's having so much trouble communicating and playing with other kids," she said.
"It's not fair for me to push him on to the bigger school where it's harder for him."
The latest data from Real Estate Institute of Queensland showed the Sunshine Coast rental market remained tight at 0.6 per cent, while in Brisbane the situation worsened in the June quarter to a new low of 0.8 per cent.
The state government is working to find solutions to address the housing crisis, including urging home owners to rent out their granny flats, which will be discussed at the upcoming housing summit next month.
Minister for Communities and Housing Leeanne Enoch says the government is committed to looking at a range of avenues for renters to have access to a greater range of places to live.
"These proposals will provide greater housing choice and diversity within lower density residential areas to accommodate smaller households such as students, single persons, older people and couple-only households," Ms Enoch said.
'It breaks my heart'
The prospect of the housing summit addressing the crisis brought Ms Guyatt to tears.
"The government, they're like, 'Oh, this is a long-term issue, it's going to take a long time to fix'," she said,
"What do these kids have to live on the streets for — the next five, six years?
"They need to do something now; they should have done something six months ago."
Ms Guyatt started working as a cleaner in March to increase her income and chances of securing a rental.
While she remains homeless, she says she is now is paid to clean ten houses used as holiday rentals, which usually sit vacant.
"They're all within two blocks of each other and some weeks they are busy but then other times they sit empty for like a week or two," she said.
"It's frustrating to see; I understand people want to make an income but when you see kids sleeping in cars, it just breaks my heart."
Ms Guyatt thinks the number of holiday rentals should be reduced and rent should be capped.
"The Sunshine Coast has always been bad for housing, but this is almost inhumane," she said.
Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton says changing the regulations to allow home owners to rent out their granny flats could encourage business owners to build staff accommodation.
"Why residents haven't been building granny flats is that under the current conditions they can't get a loan to build them," Ms Bolton said.
"Ultimately we are still short a huge volume of staff in Noosa and the only way we can get them is to get some accommodation and the only way we can do that quickly is having a workers village.
"This is only part of the solution to our housing crisis, this isn't going to fix the issue, this is just part of it."