Council housing waiting lists ‘could double’

The LGA has set out the case for building 100,000 green social homes for rent each year, in a new report ‘Building post-pandemic prosperity’.

Commissioned by the LGA, the Association of Retained Council Housing, and the National Federation of ALMOs, the report reveals that one in 10 households in need of housing is stuck on council waiting lists, as a result of the chronic shortage of affordable homes. It also finds that, because of the pandemic and the ending of covid-related support schemes, a potential increase in homelessness could see council housing waiting lists almost double next year to as many as 2.1 million households.

The LGA is calling on the Chancellor to use this month’s Spending Review to give councils the powers and funding to build 100,000 social homes for rent each year. This would not only achieve a third of the Government’s annual housing target, but also improve the public finances over 30 years by £24.5 billion. 

This should include further reform of Right to Buy, to allow councils to retain 100 per cent of receipts, have flexibility to combine Right to Buy receipts with other government grants, and be able to set the size of discounts locally. 

Cllr David Renard, LGA Housing Spokesperson, said: “There is a desperate need to build more social housing in this country, which should be a central part of the Government’s ambition to level up and build back better following the pandemic. 

“Now is the time to reverse the decline in council housing over the past few decades. The benefits are clear – a programme of 100,000 social homes a year would shorten council housing waiting lists, reduce homelessness and cut carbon emissions, while delivering a multi-billion long-term boost to the economy.”


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