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9 in 10 private renters missing out on social housing

Over 9 in 10 private renters (91%) who need a social home are unable to get one and are left on waiting lists, often for years on end, according to the charity Shelter.

The charity’s analysis of the latest government data shows there were nearly 500,000 privately renting households on council waiting lists last year, but fewer than 43,000 private renters moved into a social rent home during that same period.

Shelter suggests that the true scale of need among private renters is probably far greater than these figures suggest.

Since 2011, councils have been able to decide the eligibility criteria for their own waiting lists with many insisting people must have a long-standing connection to the local area to qualify, meaning thousands cannot even get on the list in the first place.

According to the charity, the problem stems from decades of failure to build new social homes – just 6,434 social rent homes were delivered last year, but 21,500 were lost through sales, conversions, and demolitions. Consequently, people have become effectively trapped in expensive private renting.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: ‘When 9 in 10 private renters who need a social home aren’t getting one, alarm bells should be ringing. But when this means parents are forced to skip meals just to pay their rent then clearly, we need to take action now.

‘Decades of failure to build social housing has created a nightmare scenario with people trapped in private renting all over the country. On top of living on the breadline, far too many are facing the threat of eviction or battling poor conditions.

‘To save struggling renters from a lifetime of instability, social housing must be at the heart of every party’s manifesto during the election. We are calling on all parties to commit to delivering at least 90,000 social rent homes a year over the next parliament, to give everyone in this country a fighting chance of a stable home.’

Earlier today, NewStart reported on potential changes in how Manchester City Council allocates its social housingin order to help the city’s most vulnerable people.

The proposed changes include improved housing opportunities for homeless residents, introducing a two-year residency rule to apply to be on the housing register, different levels of priority for degrees of overcrowding, and ensuring that homeowners will no longer be able to join the housing register to bring in line with other local authorities.

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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