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28/01/2019

Over 100 years to house council waiting list

Words: Laura Edgar
Waiting list / iStock-860089106-(1)

It would take 130 years to house those people waiting on social housing waiting lists at the current rate of building, analysis suggests.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) analysed Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) data, published on 24 January, that showed there are 173,584 families on the waiting list for social housing in rural council areas.

The campaign group highlights that just 1,336 homes for social rent were built in those council areas last year. It is concerned that market towns and villages across England are being forgotten about by central government.

Lois Lane, research and policy adviser at CPRE, said with social housing waiting lists rising across the country, “it is clear that councils are not able to build enough to meet anyone’s needs]. She noted that CPRE analysis shows a clear disparity in focus and funding, which has left a large number of rural communities “suffering silently”, and in real danger of being left behind.

“There is a misconception that people living in the countryside don’t feel the effects of the housing crisis, but that couldn’t be further than the truth. Average house prices are higher and wages lower than in major towns and cities, and the continued failure to build enough social homes has actually made the situation especially challenging in rural communities.”

The CPRE has called on the government to provide additional substantial investment in social housebuilding for rural areas, with a proportion of grant funding for use in rural areas to be ring-fenced in line with the proportion of the population living there.

The government data analysed by CPRE can be found here on the UK Government website.

Image credit | iStock

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