A tall council block in London

London has the most households waiting for social housing

London had the highest social housing waiting list among English regions again last year, according to Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government data.

Mid-year figures found there were 323,827 households on local authority waiting lists in London in 2023.

London also had the highest number of households on waiting list per 100,000 people.

16,472 more households were on social housing waiting lists in London in 2023 versus 2022.

Methods for determining how many households require social housing differ across local authorities because of how local authorities check whether households continue to require housing.

Furthermore, some councils used choice-based lettings which is a system for households to tell councils which properties they are interested in.

This system has made waiting lists longer in places.

Policy Manager at Homelessness charity Crisis said: “For decades the housing stock has been significantly reduced, stripped bare even.

“The numbers of genuinely affordable homes continues to drop.

“It’s a disgrace.”

She added that Crisis’ frontline staff are reporting that it is increasingly difficult to help people find affordable housing.

As a result of reduced supply and the cost-of-living crisis, more people are being placed in temporary accommodation.

Perkins said that over half of households in temporary accommodation in England have been placed there by London boroughs.

She added: “It’s not suitable for everyday life.”

She explained that temporary housing is not suited to family’s needs as they might be in one room, and many do not have cooking or laundry facilities.

Crisis calculated that to meet the current levels of need for affordable housing, 90,000 homes are needed per year for the next 10 years.

Perkins said that last year, 9500 genuinely affordable homes were built.

Perkins said: “The failure to [build more] is having severe and wide-ranging consequences.”

Image credit: Jpmaytum

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