Thousands on waiting list for social housing in Bassetlaw

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Thousands of households are stuck on the waiting list for social housing in Bassetlaw, new figures reveal.

Housing charity Shelter said the figures are “chilling” and called for the Government to increase the funding for new social homes.

The latest Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) data shows that in March 2018 there were 3,326 households on the housing waiting list in Bassetlaw, 14 per cent higher than two years earlier. Of those, 324 were households living in unhygienic or overcrowded housing, while a further 103 had to move due to a medical condition.

In Bassetlaw, there were 33 vacant homes by the end of March 2018, all of them owned by the council.

Coun Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “Like many other areas across the country, Council Housing in Bassetlaw is under great pressure and we would undoubtedly welcome additional funding from the Government to build more Council Houses in our district to try and meet this demand.

“The council currently owns 6,725 properties which, over time has been eroded by to Right to Buy applications, and in the last 12 months we have lost more than 40 properties through this process.

“However, despite this Bassetlaw is being proactive and over the last six years, with the help of funding from Homes England, we have built or are in the process of building 144 modern, comfortable and energy efficient homes to try and replace what has been lost or has become outdated. This includes flats, houses and bungalows that provide much needed homes for young people, families and older tenants.

“We cannot address this problem alone though and we work with Housing Associations to provide people on our waiting list with more choice and opportunities. Since April 2018 we have helped more than 100 applicants to find a new home through a Housing Association.

“We also work with private landlords and home owners to bring long-term empty properties back into use. This is in addition to working with house builders to include a mix of social housing properties when new developments are created.”

Over the last years, Bassetlaw’s social housing stock has remained steady.

By the end of March 2017, there were 8,130 social and council homes — 6,820 owned by the council and 1,310 by housing associations.

A spokesman for the MHCLG said: “We still need to deliver more, better, faster so we have given councils the freedom to build a new generation of council houses.”