More than 600,000 parents are forced to cut back on food to keep up with their private rental costs as they are left on council house waiting lists.
Shelter’s latest study into the plight facing renters found that nine out of 10 private tenants are left playing the waiting game, often for years, in their bid to secure a social home.
That means that nearly 500,000 privately renting households were on council waiting lists while less than 43,000 moved into a council home in that time.
And the housing charity warned that the figures, derived from government data, may not paint the full picture. Shelter warn that since councils were able to independently decide the eligibility criteria for their own lists from 2011, thousands could even be locked out from getting on the lists in the first place.
The government must go much further and increase housing benefit to cover the cheapest third of private rents, alongside a commitment to build genuinely affordable and secure social homes that would reduce our need for benefits in the first place. #BuildSocialHousing????️
— Shelter (@Shelter) November 3, 2019
But, even without accounting for those additional renters, the lack of social homes is still hitting hard. Just 6,434 social rent homes were delivered last year while 21,500 were lost through sales, conversions and demolitions. That’s well short of the 90,000 social homes that Shelter insist are required every year to reverse successive governments’ consistent failure to build enough homes.