Canberra had a social housing shortfall of 3000 properties and about 1600 people were homeless on any given night prior to the coronavirus pandemic, new data has showed.
And there are warnings the numbers will increase due to the coronavirus and the reduction of the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments at the end of September.
Heatmaps that show the social housing need and the number of homeless people in each electorate have been released by Homelessness Australia and Everybody's Home.
All ACT electorates had a shortage of social housing dwellings. The heatmaps showed the electorate of Fenner had the greatest shortfall at 1100, followed by the Canberra electorate at 1000 and then Bean at 900.
The heatmaps showed there were 1600 homeless people in the territory. The electorate of Canberra had the highest at 900, followed by Fenner at 400 and Bean at 300.
Homelessness Australia chairwoman Jenny Smith said the maps showed homelessness was an issue across the ACT and not just in city and town centres.
"People often think homelessness is an issue mainly in cities and CBDs but the maps show that to be a myth," she said.
"The lack of housing that people can afford is not only the biggest cause of homelessness, but it also prevents people from escaping homelessness."
COVID-19's economic impact would exacerbate the number of homeless people and the need for social housing, Everybody's Home spokeswoman Kate Colvin said.
Ms Colvin pointed to research from the Grattan Institute which showed each ACT electorate had lost 6 per cent of its total jobs due to the pandemic.
"The heatmaps show what the problem was around homelessness shortfalls before COVID, and now the ACT has lost 6 per cent of jobs in each electorate and we have the government cutting JobSeeker payments at the end of September... the situation is now far worse," she said.
Ms Colvin said the federal government needed to step in to address the shortfall.
She pointed to the Social Housing Acceleration and Renovation Program (SHARP) proposal from a coalition of housing advocacy groups.
The proposal would see the federal government fund community housing providers to build 30,000 new social housing dwellings over four years.
"Australia urgently needs the Morrison government to fix the national social housing shortfall, but it can also give Australia's economy a much-needed boost in the process by creating construction jobs as stimulus," Ms Colvin said.
Canberra housing advocates have previously called for investment in the SHARP program, which would create about 600 new social housing dwellings in the territory.
The ACT government has previously said it would announce investment into the construction of new social housing dwellings. An announcement is expected this month.
A spokeswoman for ACT Housing Minister Yvette Berry told The Canberra Times last month the ACT government would lobby the Commonwealth for investment into social and community housing.