Hundreds stuck on waiting list for social housing in Gainsborough area

West Lindsey District Council has defended its policy towards the social housing waiting list.
West Lindsey District Council has defended its policy towards the social housing waiting list.

More than 1,000 households are on the waiting list for social housing in Gainsborough and the rest of West Lindsey, new figures have revealed.

Housing charity Shelter described the figures as “chilling” and called for the government to increase the funding for new homes.

West Lindsey District Council has disclosed that its waiting list currently stands at 1,037 households waiting to move into a social or affordable home.

Some are currently living in unhygienic or overcrowded properties, while others are in need of a move because of their medical condition.

The council stressed that the 1,037 figure was 25 per cent fewer than two years earlier and that it had found homes for 206 households on its register since April 2018.

However, across England, more than 1.1 million families are on council waiting lists, yet only 23,000 council homes are available in 2017/18.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “When you compare the number of households waiting with the tiny number of available homes, and the trickle of new social homes being built, you understand how chilling today’s housing crisis is.

“It’s not just those in greatest need crying out for the chance of a stable home. Hundreds of thousands of older people and young families are also desperate to escape the private renting trap.”

A statement from West Lindsey District Council said: “The Central Lincolnshire Local Plan requires all new housing developments in West Lindsey to include 20 to 25 per cent of affordable homes. We work closely with providers and developers to ensure this happens.

“Waiting times on the housing register depend on factors such as bedroom size and location, but overall the waiting times for social housing in West Lindsey are very short.

“We believe the 25 per cent drop in numbers evidences the good practices West Lindsey has in place to provide social accommodation for those on the waiting list.”