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Council Housing: Waiting Lists

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people are on local authority housing waiting lists in (a) St Albans and (b) Hertfordshire; and what the equivalent figures were (i) five and (ii) 10 years ago. (256977)

Information is available on numbers of households rather than people. The number of households registered on local authority 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 are at April 2008. The link for this table is as follows:

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 St. Albans and Hertfordshire is 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

St. Albans

1,758

1,764

1,521

Hertfordshire

18,601

19,677

26,891

Source:

Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA)

Further information on the number of households on the local authority housing waiting lists for England, can be found in the statistical release “Local Authority Housing Statistics England: 2007-08: Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and Business Plan Statistical Appendix (BPSA)” This was published on 22 January 2009 on the Communities and Local Government website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/lahousing200708

Copies of the statistical release and live table have been deposited in the Library.

Not everyone on the local authority 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 onto 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.