Families on East London housing list could wait 24 years
PUBLISHED: 18:00 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 05 October 2010
FAMILIES on housing waiting lists in East London might be in the queue for a new home up to a-quarter-of-a-century, a report this week reveals. It would take 24 years to get through Newham Council’s list and 10 years at neighbouring Tower Hamlets
FAMILIES on local authority housing waiting lists in East London might be in the queue for a new home up to a-quarter-of-a-century, a report this week reveals.
It would take 24 years to get through Newham Council's list and 10 years at neighbouring Tower Hamlets at the present rate new lettings, a survey by the national housing charity Shelter has found.
Newham has nearly 29,000 families on its list with fewer than 1,200 new lettings last year.
Tower Hamlets has almost 20,000 on its list, with fewer than 2,000 new lettings.
Waltham Forest would take 15 years to clear its 14,300 waiting list with fewer than 1,000 new lettings, while Hackney would take less than six years to clear its 11,500 list with almost 2,000 new lettings.
The housing charity today called on MPs to make sure housing issues are top priority in next year's General Election.
"We are simply not building enough homes to meet the growing demand in East London," said Shelter's deputy campaigns director Caroline Davey.
"This will be a major blow to thousands of families who may have to spend this Christmas and many more in run-down or unaffordable housing, or possibly trapped in temporary accommodation.
"The only way to give people hope is for political parties to make housing an election priority."
More than half the 33 local authorities across Greater London will take more than 10 years to clear their waiting lists, well above the national average of seven years, according to the Shelter Survey. Even 'priority' cases could be waiting years to secure a council home.