Rochelle Taylor is a woman caught between a rock and a hard place - either share a cramped two-bedroom unit with her kids and elderly, sick grandmother or move her family to a room above the Berkeley Hotel.
These were the options presented to the 29-year-old Berkeley mother when she contacted the housing department, pleading for more suitable accommodation for herself and her young children.
For nearly two years, Ms Taylor has been sharing a bed with her six-year-old son while her 10-year-old daughter bunks with her 83-year-old grandmother, who is battling cancer, in a tiny Berkeley public housing flat.
When Ms Taylor contacted the housing department, explaining that the situation was completely unsuitable for her family, she was told the only alternative accommodation was a women's refuge or the Berkeley Hotel.
"I told them I'd rather live in a garbage bin," she said.
"It's not suitable; this is not the way I want to be raising my children."
Ms Taylor now fears her grandmother's ailing health could leave a lasting imprint on her children and possibly force them out of their home.
"It's getting harder with my grandmother being so sick; my daughter shares a bed with her - if she passes away in her sleep, I don't want my daughter to see that, it will always be on her mind," she said.
"We're not on the lease here, we pay rent and the department knows we live here but if my grandmother dies, there's no guarantee we could stay; I know people who have lived with their partner for 20 years and have been kicked out when they've died, it's terrifying."
While she wants to stay in Berkeley, Ms Taylor is desperate for her own accommodation, even exploring opportunities in the private rental market.
"I looked into it but the cheapest rental is $350 a week, it's just well out of my price range," she said.
"It's just so hard because we live on top of each other; the kids find it difficult because they can't have friends over, they're kept awake by people smashing windows outside or shouting, I just don't want this for them."
A Housing NSW spokesman said Ms Taylor was currently on the waiting list and would be allocated a property when her "turn comes up" and a suitable property was available.
"The latest information that we have from Ms Taylor is that she is living with relatives, so the question of placing her in temporary accommodation does not arise," he said.
The spokesman said Ms Taylor had been advised of other services offered by Housing NSW to assist people to find accommodation.