Canberra's rental market is "catastrophic" for low-income earners, even with the federal government's additional welfare payments.
There were no affordable properties available to households on income support, prior to the federal government's coronavirus supplement, a new analysis has showed.
But the situation is not much better on the doubled JobSeeker payment.
According to Anglicare's annual rental affordability snapshot there were no properties in the Canberra region, including Queanbeyan, considered affordable and appropriate for people who receive JobSeeker, the parenting payment or youth allowance, prior to the federal government's increase.
While there are available properties when the coronavirus supplement of $550 extra a fortnight is taken into consideration, it was a small portion with only 2.5 per cent of properties suitable to a single person on JobSeeker.
But for a couple or a single parent on JobSeeker with two or more children under 10 there are still no affordable rentals with the supplement. There would also be no properties affordable for those on the disability support pension, where there has been no change.
The coronavirus supplement is intended to be a temporary measure applied to JobSeeker, the parenting payment and youth allowance.
St John's Care Canberra director Sarah Murdoch described the situation as "catastrophic".
She said the emergency relief organisation assisted more than 100 families a week and many had to choose between food or rent.
"While we welcome the increased JobSeeker payments and the introduction of the JobKeeper payments, the reality is that simply isn't enough affordable housing for low-income families," Ms Murdoch said.
"We also don't know what the long-term implications of COVID-19 will be for people, particularly in terms of job loss, which is one of the biggest emotional and financial stressors on families."
Each year, Anglicare analyses rentals in Canberra and Queanbyean listed on realestate.com.au, Allhomes and Gumtree to determine if those on a low income can afford them without going into financial stress.
For most low-income earners, they go into financial stress when more than 30 per cent of their income is spent on rent.
The support agency analysed 1201 properties on the weekend of March 21, this was just days before the federal government announced the coronavirus income support. Fourteen housing types are analysed.
The analysis also deemed if a property is suitable for the household type, for example it has enough bedrooms for the occupants.
For Amber Jarrett, a severe shortage of affordable rentals has meant she has had to move into a one-bedroom apartment with her three children.
The single mother moved to Canberra from the South Coast last year following a relationship breakdown. She sleeps on a fold-out bed in the loungeroom while her children share a room.
At the coast, Ms Jarrett said she paid $460 a week for a huge four-bedroom house but that rent was double for a similar property in the capital.
She moved to Canberra last year to be closer to relatives. Prior to moving into the house, the family of four was forced to couch surf before they secured the transitional house through St John's Care.
"We were just couch surfing between my mum's and so forth, between three different houses throughout the week so we did that for a couple of months before I reached out to St John's," she said.
While she said she was grateful for the house, the situation was still very difficult for her family and her children had struggled.
"It's affordable but it's not practical," Ms Jarrett said.
"Although I am grateful for all the assistance and I am just grateful we've got a secure roof over our head, whether it's a long-term solution or not.
"It means I don't have to cart my kids back and forth throughout the week through different houses, wondering where we are going to sleep for the night."