There isn't a newsroom in the country where the housing crisis and spiralling cost of living hasn't been discussed daily for the past six months.
At local newspapers the conversations are more intense.
Our neighbours are late on their mortgage repayments.
Our friends are facing eviction.
Our parents and cousins on the other side of town are struggling to pay their bills, heat their homes, and buy the food and medicine they need to live.
These are not only stories we cover as reporters and editors.
They're the state of the communities in which we live.
As editorial trainer for ACM's national network of regional newspapers, I spend my days helping young journalists hone their skills to become the best chroniclers of local life they can be.
But every time I sat down with them, life got in the way.
A new reporter was exhausted - living in a uni dorm with a shared bathroom and kitchen, woken in the middle of the night by partygoers, because he couldn't get a rental in town.
After the work day ended, another reporter on early career wages was going to her second job pulling beers at the local pub to make the mortgage repayments.
Stories abounded of journalists who couldn't find a place to live locally and were couch surfing or staying with friends and relatives while they trudged to overflowing inspections every weekend.
Another was repeatedly booted out of rentals after homeowners moved back in or decided to sell in a COVID-inflated property market.
Some had to stay hours out of their regions and commute to cover local news.
Others were just trying to squeeze any extra cents they could out of their weekly budget.
The property crisis they covered every day for readers was their crisis, too.
So we decided to do something about it.
We decided to tell your stories through their eyes - not just as professional reporters listening to their communities - but as young people with skin in the game.
I hope you are as moved as I am by the bravery of the people our journalists interviewed; who opened their homes and tents so others might see the reality of where soaring inflation and low wages can lead.
And I hope you are as proud as I am of the reporters who wrote these stories.
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