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It could take almost 6 and a half years to clear social housing waiting lists in Gateshead.

by Jade Choudhury & filed under Latest news

Amid a severe housing crisis, the National Housing Federation reported that while over 1.2 million households awaited social housing, fewer than 240,000 new lettings were available in 2022/23.

At the current rate of lettings, and if no new households joined the list, this means that it could take another 6 and a half years before every household currently on the waiting list can move into a suitable home that they can afford in Gateshead, according to new analysis of the latest affordable housing figures.  

Across the country, the chronic shortage of genuinely affordable social homes has left many families stuck in unaffordable, unsuitable accommodation, cut off from local support networks, far from school or job opportunities or even facing homelessness. 

The lack of affordable homes in Gateshead forces more low-income individuals into costly, unstable private rentals, leading to tough financial choices and increased risk of homelessness. NHF’s 2019 study found that nearly half of the children in these homes live in poverty. 

National figures

Last year (2022/23), for every new social home built in England, six households were accepted as homeless by their local council, while more children than ever before are living in temporary accommodation. This shameful trend is also putting local councils under increasing financial pressure with councils spending £1.74bn to support households in temporary accommodation in 2022/23. This is only set to worsen, with recent research revealing that the number of children living in temporary accommodation is estimated to reach 150,000 by 2030. 

The widening gap between the demand for social housing and the availability of is not an anomaly in Gateshead. It is the result of decades of underfunding and underinvestment in affordable homes by successive governments, which in turn has led to a chronic shortage of social housing and contributed to the housing crisis we’re in today.  

The future of housing

Housing associations are ambitious to do more to tackle this crisis, however it will take a long-term commitment from local and national governments to address. With a long-term plan in place, by 2035 we could: fix child homelessness, halve overcrowding, provide the security of a social home for one million more people, ensure a warm and decent home for seven million more families, improve affordability, and boost productivity by ensuring every region has the homes it needs to grow. 

Keelman Homes joins the NHF’s call for political parties to commit to a long-term national plan to solve this crisis. This will support the thousands of households in Gateshead in desperate need of a safe, suitable and affordable home. 

Managing Director of Keelman Homes, Anne-Marie, said: 

Keelman Homes is a Gateshead based affordable housing provider offering homes for long term affordable rent, shared ownership and rent to buy. For over a decade we have worked closely with our Local Authority and have successfully delivered over 300 homes to our patch. Expensive private rental accommodation is a huge barrier to many people being able to own their own home, but waiting lists to access social housing often leave people stuck with no alternative. We aim to continue to deliver on our aim to provide more quality, affordable homes to help address this problem faced by so many local people, and as a member of the National Housing Federation, we are asking all governments to commit to a long-term plan for housing.