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Graham Awards


Private rental demand to soar long-term following social housing failures

New government figures show a net loss of 16,000 social homes in England last year, as sales and demolitions continue to surpass the number of homes built.

The figures indicate 25,749 social homes were either sold or demolished last year in England, yet just 9,500 social homes were built – a net loss of 16,188 homes.

In the past 10 years there has been a total loss of 181,213 social homes - and this is despite 1.28m households in England being stuck on council waiting lists for a social home. 


This follows news that the government is considering plans to further restrict access to social housing for some through their ‘British homes for British workers’ scheme, rather than acknowledging the overall lack of social homes. Currently, 90 per cent of social homes are let to British citizens.

Responding to the figures Matt Downie, Crisis chief executive, says: “It’s disgraceful to see the number of social homes continue to be decimated. This is robbing over a million households stuck on council waiting lists of the opportunity of a safe home.

“This scarcity of social homes means that many councils are running out of options – with some even having to consider closing waiting lists due to demand. With nowhere else to go, tens of thousands of households are being forced into poor quality temporary accommodation like hostels and B&Bs or finding themselves at the mercy of the unaffordable private renting sector, where they can be evicted at a moment’s notice.

“The system is at breaking point. We need to see a major programme of social housebuilding – reaching at least 90,000 homes per year - if we are to tackle homelessness for good.”


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