AME System's Aris Mallari has spent almost 12 months in search of a rental property in Ararat.
The design and manufacturing engineer returned to the region in July last year to recommence his employment with the privately owned business that designs and manufactures electrical wiring harnesses and assemblies.
Mr Mallari spent time in similar employment in Melbourne and Brisbane after working for five years previously at the Ararat-based company.
"If I compare Ararat housing availability to those cities, it is difficult to get housing here," Mr Mallari said.
"Initially, I thought moving back to the region finding a house would be easy as I have references from when I lived in Ararat before. I have references from previous rental properties and also from my employer.
"It certainly was easier to get housing in bigger cities."
Mr Mallari said he found the price in Ararat wasn't "much different" to those in the bigger cities.
"It's one of the things which surprised me the most," he said.
"Usually people say living in regional you can expect lower rental prices for a property but I haven't found that to be the case.
"Sometimes the properties I have seen it's more expensive to rent a house in Ararat compared to some cities."
When looking through the list of housing availability, Mr Mallari said some houses he didn't apply for because it was either not suitable or not within his price range.
"I started looking when I very first moved back here," Mr Mallari said.
"After a few inspections and submitted applications which were denied I started doubting my ability to be able to get houses.
"Of course then the pandemic hit so I haven't really been looking too hard during this time.
"I'm just after something modest and would be a good fit for me. Most people would have preferences and at the moment I haven't found anything that would suit me.
"Knowing what I know now about the housing situation in Ararat it certainly would have been a factor when deciding to return to the region or not.
"The work I'm doing at AME is exciting and a fantastic opportunity for me so I'm glad I made the choice to move back here."
AME Systems managing director Nick Carthew said he was surprised when he was notified about Mr Mallari's housing troubles.
"Here you have a skilled engineer trying to find housing and can't in the town," he said.
"Working for a reputable company you would think he would have no trouble in finding somewhere to live.
"In the past, I have spoken to the real estate agents and have had a number of conversations with local and state governments in the concerns of housing in the region.
"We don't want to have this scenario where we can employ people but they have no where to live."
Data from the Real Estate Institute of Victoria shows Ararat has a total of 443 private rental properties.
The medium price of rental properties in the town is $275.
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