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Council Housing: South Yorkshire

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people are on the council house waiting list in (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster; and what the equivalent figures were (i) five and (ii) 10 years ago. (255828)

Information is available on numbers of households rather than people. The number of households registered on council housing waiting lists in each local authority, as at 1 April each year, is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 600. The latest available data is at April 2008 and can be found on our website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/table600.xls

Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. The number of households on local authorities' waiting lists in Barnsley and Doncaster are given in the following table.

Number of households on the council house waiting list (excludes households looking for transfers)

April 1998

April 2003

April 2008

Barnsley

4,448

4,131

6,097

Doncaster

14,413

10,763

15,973

Source:

Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA)

Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get on to the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move house—particularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time. The size of the waiting list is not an indicator of absolute need, it is only useful as a broad indicator of housing demand in an area.