Preparations for the Tamworth Country Music Festival made over a dozen people homeless, before the historic event was postponed on Friday, according to local homeless services.
Meanwhile, motel patrons are reporting price hikes of up to five times ordinary April hotel rates, just one day after the new dates in the school holiday were announced.
Tamworth Family Support service manager Lynda Townsend, based in NSW's north east, said the organisation was forced to tell a customer their motel room would be needed for a festival patron last Tuesday, because the out-of-towner could pay more for the room.
With nowhere else to live, he's now living on the streets, she said.
"It's not the moteliers fault. They've always done what they've done. Right at the moment we have a major issue in the housing sector, full stop," she said.
Homeless services have long reported that a red-hot pandemic property market driving extremely low rental vacancy rates has forced more and more people out of the private property market. With public and crisis accommodation options packed, about a dozen or more people live in motels as a last-ditch alternative on an average night.
Meanwhile, country musicians like Kirsty Lee Akers are already getting hot under the collar about what she said was an enormous hike in prices in April.
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The multiple Golden Guitar Award winner and recent contestant on The Block managed to snag a hotel room for an ordinary April price of about $1200 immediately after the new dates were announced on Friday.
She showed the Leader photos of a booking for just $874.
Later that evening a motelier asked her to withdraw her booking, so it could be resold for $6834.
"Artists will always complain about how expensive accommodation is during festival. But we always get given the story of well it's summer school holidays, that's why it's so expensive." she said.
"Going from $1200 to $6800 is just ridiculous."
She said many moteliers were offering customers who had repeatedly rebooked rates from two or three years ago.
"It has been really difficult for accommodation providers," she said.
Tamworth Family Support's Ms Townsend said they did their best to develop a backup plan for their client, to no avail.
"The actual case worker that had to have a conversation with her client, she was devastated," she said.
"She came to me as the manager and said there's got to be something more we can do, what can we do? And she then spent the next probably hour to two hours trying to find somewhere where she could put this person so that they weren't sleeping on the streets."
Ms Townsend estimated there were "at least" 20 people who had been forced out of short-term crisis accommodation by the festival.
Homes North chief executive officer Maree McKenzie said many of their clients in motels were victims of domestic violence, or had lost their job or been terminated from a private tenancy.
"Basically they have no options. If we think about being homeless, if we take a moment to think about it, nobody wants to have nowhere to sleep and nice, and feel safe and be able to care for yourself," she said.