Helensburgh Men's Shed members are desperately trying to find vacant land so they can build a new shed and refocus on mateship and carpentry rather than paying for rent.
Shed chairman Michael Croft said the committee had identified a suitable parcel of Crown land that would be perfect for them to build a new shed. They also want to expand and develop a community garden, women's shed and First Nations Dreaming Place.
However, the state government will not grant a lease to Wollongong City Council.
The committee is seeking a long term lease of the land on the corner of Walker Street and Cemetery Road and financial assistance to build a shed.
"The shed has provided a safe place for men to meet up," Mr Croft said. "Some members felt socially isolated before joining the club and now they get companionship.
"We think the Crown land site is an extremely viable option. We have tried to find other sites to no success.
"The land is vacant, is level, services are nearby, it is on the bus route and is not near other residences."
Mr Croft said the 29 members never felt at home in any of the shed's premises
The shed started in 2016 at a rented premise in town before they moved to the Anglican church hall in Stanwell Park and now they lease a light industrial factory at Parkes Street.
"The rent required, at $500 per week, means we risk focusing on production and pricing instead of friendship, inclusivity and wellbeing," Mr Croft said.
"This financial burden means our fundraising will be disproportionally devoted to rent, at the same time reducing the time and effort available to serve our community.
"We hope the obstacles that exist between the state government and local government can be worked out for the site."
A Wollongong council spokesman said council staff had been working with the shed committee to assist in finding a suitable location but to no avail.
"The site is Crown land and it’s not a gazetted Crown reserve that the council currently manages," he said. "This land is managed by the NSW Department of Industry. As such the council is unable to make any commitments in regard to this site."
A Minister for Lands and Forestry spokeswoman said the land identified by the group was currently subject to undetermined Aboriginal Land Claims and therefore a lease was unable to be granted for the site at this time.
The committee found no specific Aboriginal land claim on the site, and Mr Croft said the Aboriginal people in the area were supportive of the proposal.