Thousands stuck on social housing list in Ashfield

In March 2018 there were 3,346 households on the housing waiting list in Ashfield.
In March 2018 there were 3,346 households on the housing waiting list in Ashfield.

Thousands of households are stuck on the waiting list for social housing in Ashfield, 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 3,346 households on the housing waiting list in Ashfield.

That is 28 percent fewer than two years earlier.

Of those, 473 were households with some medical necessity, while a further 268 were living in unhygienic or overcrowded housing.

In Ashfield, there were 22 vacant homes by the end of March 2018, all of them owned by the council. Of those, 36 percent were available for letting.

Across England, more than 1.1 million families were on council waiting lists - 6 percent fewer than in 2016.

However, 23,000 council homes were available in 2017-18.

Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said: “When you compare the number of households waiting.

“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.”

Over the last years, Ashfield’s social housing stock has risen slightly and by the end of March 2017, there were 8,970 social and council homes, up from 8,770 in 2012.

Despite adding 21 new and additional units to its housing stock this year Ashfield loses approximately 50 properties a year through Right to Buy.

Councillor John Wilmott, cabinet member for social and council housing, said: “Ashfield District Council is within the top 25 percent of all social landlord in the country for re-letting its properties in as quick a time as possible and let a total of 471 properties last year.

“Whilst a small number properties may be classed as ‘vacant’ at any one time, they are all in a process of either being prepared for letting or waiting for the new tenants to move in.”