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Waiting list nightmare for the homeless

PUBLISHED: 15:10 17 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:49 24 August 2010

RESIDENTS in Brent face a 25-year wait for a council home with only two other local authorities with a longer waiting list in the entire country. According to figures released by housing charity Shelter, the council currently has 21,737 households on the

RESIDENTS in Brent face a 25-year wait for a council home with only two other local authorities with a longer waiting list in the entire country.

According to figures released by housing charity Shelter, the council currently has 21,737 households on their waiting list but only housed 864 people last year resulting in them taking almost quadruple the national average of seven years to house residents.

Shelter is calling on the Government to tackle the lack of social housing which has been hit by the current economic climate.

Caroline Davey, Shelter's deputy director of policy and campaigns, said: "The figures clearly show the desperate lack of affordable housing throughout England, and how we are simply not building enough homes to meet the growing demand.

"The news will be a major blow to hundreds of thousands of people who may have to spend this Christmas, and many more to come, in run down or unaffordable housing, or possibly trapped in temporary or overcrowded accommodation."

A Brent Council spokeswoman said demand for their housing stock is high and around 25 per cent of people on the waiting list are in Band D (the lowest category) therefore they are not considered to be in housing need.

She added: "For those who do need housing we have a number of initiatives in place to tackle the shortage and are working with our partners to create more affordable housing throughout the borough.

"But, in Brent, demand for housing is very high and far outstrips supply.

"While we continue to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation and only ever use bed and breakfast as a last resort, we are also using homes in the private sector and helping to prevent families becoming homeless in the first place."

According to Shelter, neighbouring council Barnet tops the waiting list on England with 33 years and Redbridge in east London is second with one year less.


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