The nation's housing affordability woes continue as new research shows nearly 10 million Australians believe the Australian dream of owning a home is unattainable.
The research, published by the Salvation Army on Thursday, reveals 9.9 million Australians believe the dream of owning a home is over, while 7.7 million feel their financial situation is affecting their emotional well-being, family life, career goals or social life.
Commissioned by Roy Morgan, the research also found one in three mortgage holders believe they are likely to struggle to meet repayments if interest rates rise this year.
Although more people are doing it tough across the country, many are keeping their troubles to themselves and "soldiering on" rather than seeking support, Salvation Army spokesman Major Bruce Harmer said.
"It's not just people who are homeless or destitute, its the Aussie battler who has a mortgage, who has a job and even with employment is finding it hard to make ends meet," Major Harmer told AAP on Thursday.
"They're proud, they're holding it together and soldiering on the best way they can."
Major Harmer has urged people who are experiencing financial hardship to find a friend or family member to talk to or to call the Salvation Army.
"People in crisis think they're the only ones in that position, but when they are able to share, they find that there are a lot of people experiencing the same," he said.
"If you can see cracks appearing in your financial situation - before it turns into a crisis - now is the time to do something."
The research also found one in four Australians are worried they won't have enough reasonably paid work and 60 per cent believe they will either have a basic lifestyle or will struggle to get by financially in retirement.
Salvation Army officer Major Paul Moulds said the housing affordability crisis was having a "catastrophic" effect on Australians.
"The cost of living is no longer just an issue for those experiencing extreme poverty or homelessness," he said in a statement on Thursday.
"The cross-section of people seeking help is growing and the situation for many of them is bleak. It's vital that we strive to create a more open and transparent community."
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