Number of households waiting for local authority housing.
Local authorities sometimes maintain a common waiting list with the Housing Association/s in their district. However, no information is available where a Housing Association maintains a separate waiting list to the local authority. Direct comparisons between authorities' housing waiting lists can be misleading in particular because authorities have different arrangements for checking that applicants continue to require housing and their policies and practices can change over time.
The introduction of choice-based approaches to the letting of social housing (whereby applicants have more of a say and choice over where they live) has had an impact on the size of the waiting list. Choice-based lettings (CBL) has led to increases in the number of households on the waiting lists, including those groups which are traditionally under-represented in social housing, e.g. people in employment. The accuracy of the list also depends on the extent to which housing authorities keep the register up-to-date, e.g. some people might already have found housing, yet remain on the list. The introduction of CBL and the removal of the statutory duty to maintain a register have taken away much of the rationale for regularly reviewing the waiting list.
However, it was anticipated that housing authorities would continue to maintain a waiting list of housing applicants in order to perform their allocation function properly.
The districts, unitary authorities and counties listed above are based on 1 April 1998 boundaries. Figures for any "new" re-organised areas have been estimated retrospectively applying the new boundaries back to 1996, making appropriate assumptions for any county re-organisation which involved cutting across districts.
Some earlier years' data might have changed based on updated figures in later years' returns.
Latest available mid-year household estimates for the districts used.
Data for each year are from the year in which they were reported. For example, 2007/08 data is from HSSA 2007/08 returns.
View live tables on rents and tenancies on DCLG website