More than 2,700 households on waiting list for social housing in Northampton
Thousands of people are stuck on the waiting list for social housing in Northampton, new figures reveal.
Housing charity Shelter said the figures are “chilling” and called for the Government to increase the funding for new social homes.
The latest Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows that in March 2018 there were 2,753 households on the housing waiting list in Northampton.
However, that is 33% fewer than two years earlier.
Of those, 485 were homeless, while a further 459 had to move due to a medical condition.
In Northampton, there were 62 vacant homes by the end of March 2018, all of them owned by the council. Of those, 68% were available for letting.
Across England, more than 1.1 million families were on council waiting lists - 6% fewer than in 2016.
However, only 23,000 council homes were available in 2017-18.
Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said: “When you compare the number of households waiting with the tiny number of available homes, and the trickle of new social homes being built, you understand how chilling today’s housing crisis is.
“It’s not just those in greatest need crying out for the chance of a stable home either, hundreds of thousands of older people and young families are also desperate to escape the private renting trap.”
Councillor Martin Tett, housing spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: “A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding is the only way to boost housing supply and tackle the housing waiting lists many councils have.”
Over the last years, Northampton’s social housing stock has risen slightly.
By the end of March 2017, there were 16,330 social and council homes , up from 16,030 in 2012.
A spokesman for the MHCLG said: “For the last 30 years, governments of all stripes and types have failed to build enough homes.
“We still need to deliver more, better, faster so we have given councils the freedom to build a new generation of council houses and are investing £9 billion in affordable housing, up until March 2022.
“The accuracy of the list also depends on the extent to which housing authorities keep the register up-to-date, as some people might already have found housing, yet remain on the list.”