Revealed: Preston's housing crisis

In March 2018 there were 2,776 households on the housing waiting list in Preston
In March 2018 there were 2,776 households on the housing waiting list in Preston
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Thousands of households are stuck on the waiting list for social housing in Preston.

Housing charity Shelter described the figures as "chilling" and called for the Government to increase the funding for new social homes.

The latest Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows that in March 2018 there were 2,776 households on the housing waiting list in Preston.

That is two per cent fewer than two years earlier.

Of those, 175 were households living in unhygienic or overcrowded housing, while a further 86 had to move due to a medical condition.

In Preston, the council did not have any vacant homes.

Across England, more than 1.1 million families were on council waiting lists - six per cent fewer than in 2016.

However, only 23,000 council homes were available in 2017-18.

Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said: "When you compare the number of households waiting with the tiny number of available homes, and the trickle of new social homes being built, you understand how chilling today’s housing crisis is.

"It’s not just those in greatest need crying out for the chance of a stable home either, hundreds of thousands of older people and young families are also desperate to escape the private renting trap."

Councillor Martin Tett, housing spokesman at the Local Government Association, said: "A genuine renaissance in council housebuilding is the only way to boost housing supply and tackle the housing waiting lists many councils have.”

Over the last years, Preston's social housing stock has risen slightly.

By the end of March 2017, there were 11,390 social and council homes , up from 11,180 in 2012.

A spokesman for the MHCLG said: "For the last 30 years, governments of all stripes and types have failed to build enough homes.

"We still need to deliver more, better, faster so we have given councils the freedom to build a new generation of council houses and are investing £9bn in affordable housing, up until March 2022.

"The accuracy of the list also depends on the extent to which housing authorities keep the register up-to-date, as some people might already have found housing, yet remain on the list."