COFFS Harbour's rental home prices have been labelled "unaffordable" in the latest Rental Affordability Index, created by National Shelter, Community Sector Banking and SGS Economics and Planning.
The index has also deemed surrounding areas such as Grafton, Nambucca Heads and Bellingen as "moderately affordable".
Executive officer of National Shelter Adrian Pisarski said the results highlighted that rental affordability wasn't just an issue for our capital cities.
"The data clearly shows that country areas aren't immune from rental affordability challenges," Mr Pisarski said.
"Households on around $500 a week are paying up to 85% of their income on rents.
"Middle-income households are also falling into housing stress as high rents chew up incomes that aren't keeping pace with rising housing costs."
The chief executive officer of Community Sector Banking, Andrew Cairns, said Australia had to wake up to the rental crisis.
"There is a dire need for innovative financial models to support more affordable housing and we're calling on governments, companies and philanthropists to collectively use their power to create sustainable solutions now," Mr Cairns said.
The index uses data from the September and December 2015 quarters, as well as historical data dating back to 1996.
Under current market conditions, the RAI reveals low-income households typically need to pay 50-85% of their income on rent.
It is generally accepted that a household is in housing stress if it pays more than 30% of its income on rent.