Yorkshire’s councils build just 430 social rent homes in a year as families languish on waiting lists

Not enough social rent homes are being built in Yorkshire.
Not enough social rent homes are being built in Yorkshire.
0
Have your say

Tens of thousands of families on ordinary incomes are being left languishing on council house waiting lists as the region’s local authorities struggle to boost the stock of social rent homes.

Councils and housing associations in the region built or bought just 430 new social rent homes in 2016-17 despite 144,681 families sitting on waiting lists, Labour analysis of official figures shows.

3 November 2017......    John Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne.  Picture Tony Johnson.

3 November 2017...... John Healey, Labour MP for Wentworth and Dearne. Picture Tony Johnson.

At that rate it would take 336 years to meet the demand on waiting lists purely with extra social rent homes.

Some councils did not build or buy any new social rent houses at all, including in cities like Sheffield and Hull.

Prime Minister Theresa May has made housing a key domestic issue for the Government and Ministers are currently working on a social housing strategy green paper.

Shadow Housing Minister and South Yorkshire MP John Healey said: “Deep Conservative cuts mean councils and housing associations across Yorkshire can’t build the affordable homes that families on ordinary incomes need.

The truth is that what new homes we build, and who for, matters just as much as how many. But under the Tories, the number of new social rented homes has fallen to the lowest level since records began.

John Healey

“The housing market is broken but current Conservative housing policy is failing to fix it, and after eight years the housing problems people face are getting worse rather than better.

“The truth is that what new homes we build, and who for, matters just as much as how many. But under the Tories, the number of new social rented homes has fallen to the lowest level since records began.”

The biggest gap between the number of new social rent homes and the size of the council house waiting list was in Bradford.

The city’s waiting list was 12,863-strong, while just 10 additional social rent homes were built or bought in 2016-17, meaning it would take 1,286 years to meet demand with new dwellings.

The best performing area in terms of meeting demand was Ryedale, with 40 new social rent homes and has a waiting list of 634.

Leeds, the biggest city, built or bought 120 social rent homes but has a waiting list of 18,465, meaning it would take 154 years to meet demand.

There were no new social rent homes in Calderdale, Craven, Doncaster, Hambleton, Harrogate, Hull, North East Lincolnshire, Richmondshire, Scarborough, Selby or Sheffield, according to the analysis.

But some of these areas had large waiting lists, including Sheffield with 28,852, Hull with 9,809 and Doncaster with 9,521.

Fewer than 100 social rent homes were built or bought in each of the other areas, with 30 in Barnsley, 30 in the East Riding of Yorkshire, 40 in Kirklees, 10 in North Lincolnshire, 30 in Rotherham, 60 in Wakefield and 60 in York.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Affordable homes is a priority for this Government and since 2010 we have built over 357,000 new affordable properties.

“But we are determined to do more and we are investing a further £9bn, including £2bn to help councils and housing associations build homes for social rent.

“We will also raise the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap by up to £1bn in areas of high affordability pressure for councils who are ready to start building new homes.”