Too many Tasmanian families are living in sub-standard housing and with winter coming their health will suffer, Anglicare says.
Deanna Buchanan has been living in a shipping container for four years with her husband and two adult children at Birralee in the Meander Valley.
"I feel bad complaining because we are better off than some people," Ms Buchanan said.
"It is absolutely freezing in the container and there is not enough room for four adults really, and no privacy."
Anglicare Social Action and Research Centre researcher Margie Law said this week's state budget needed to make affordable housing a priority.
"Anglicare clients are living in sheds and caravans and are facing a very cold winter ahead," Ms Law said.
"The state budget needs to actually treat the housing situation as a crisis, which means a substantial increase in funding not simply more of the same," Ms Law said.
"We need to house many more people, much more quickly.
"Without a drastic increase in funding, there is no end in sight for the thousands of Tasmanians who are being forced to endure homelessness or rental stress."
Ms Buchanan is in the process of applying for public housing but said it was a long process and involved a "lot of red tape".
Ms Law said for Tasmanians to be waiting for more than a year for public housing was "not acceptable".
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"Being long-term homeless because private rent is unaffordable and unavailable is not acceptable," she said.
"We do not have enough affordable housing and the current funding for the Affordable Housing Strategy is not going to house enough people."
Labor's housing spokeswoman Alison Standen said there was "enormous demand" for affordable housing.
"People are hammering down my door look for somewhere to live and their stories are heart-breaking," she said.
"Families are being dislocated and in some cases, kids can't go to school."
Housing Minister Roger Jaensch said encouraged anyone in housing stress to contact Housing Connect as they were best placed to assist with support for everything from emergency accommodation to a long term home.
"Through our Affordable Housing Action Plan Two, the Tasmanian Government is investing more in outreach support for Tasmanians in urgent need through this service," he said.
"By taking a more client-centric approach, Housing Connect can find more stable and positive outcomes for people accessing support."
Life in a shipping container
Deanna Buchanan doesn't like to complain but living in a shipping container is taking its toll.
Ms Buchanan, 57, has been living in the small container on a friend's property at Birralee in the Meander Valley for four years since she could no longer afford the rent where she had been living at Deloraine.
Her husband, who worked for Worksafe, had a heart attack and had to leave work. She then lost her job when the business she worked for closed down and has been unable to find work.
The couple have her 34-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter living with them and until recently also her daughter's best friend.
Ms Buchanan's husband works part-time on a farm and cutting wood and she receives a carer's payment for her daughter who is on sickness benefits for 12 months.
"I feel guilty complaining and we have tried and tried to make the best of it but we have rats and mice in the living area and when it rains or there is a frost it drips in," she said.
"Rents are too expensive, the real estate agents never get back to us. We are applying for public housing but that is a long process and so much red tape."
Ms Buchanan, who suffers from fibromyalgia, is dreading winter.
Her husband has constructed a living area from roofing iron but the family cook on a barbecue and have a portable toilet.
"We had plans to fit it out the container but our health and finances have stopped that," Ms Buchanan said.
"It is absolutely freezing and there is not enough room for four adults really and no privacy.
"I worry for my husband because the cardiologist said if he doesn't slow down there's an 80 per cent chance of him having another heart attack.
"All we want is a house to call home, with a stove that we can cook on and a bathroom."