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More than a million people are stuck on social housing waiting lists, homeless charity says

MORE than a million households in England are stuck on social-housing waiting lists, homelessness charity Shelter said yesterday.

The figure — 1.15m — follows a net loss of more than 17,000 social homes in the last year, according to government documents.

Nearly 24,000 social homes were sold or demolished and a paltry 6,287 social-rent homes were newly built or made available.

Even more social-rent homes have been lost through conversion to less-affordable forms of renting, the charity found.

In the last decade there has been a net loss of almost 60,000 social homes through sales and demolitions not replaced.

Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: “With over a million families in desperate need of social housing, it is absolutely outrageous that we are haemorrhaging thousands of secure social homes every year. These homes cannot afford to be lost.

“Homes are being sold off or demolished with no replacements built. All the while, families are forced to live in overcrowded conditions, single parents are making the impossible choice of eating or paying the rent and children are growing up homeless in grim B&Bs.

“Too many people are spending years waiting for a social home that isn’t coming. The government has said ‘now is the time to invest in the future’ — they must ensure a new generation of social homes is part of that future.

“With the budget just around the corner, housing cannot be ignored when the government gets its chequebook out.”


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