More than 1,000 households are stuck on the waiting list for social housing in Corby, new figures reveal.
Housing charity Shelter said the figures are “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 1,192 households on the housing waiting list in Corby.
However, that is 18% fewer than two years earlier.
Of those, 161 were households with some medical necessity, while a further 124 were living in unhygienic or overcrowded housing.
In Corby, there were 36 vacant homes by the end of March 2018, all of them owned by the council. Of those, 44% were available for letting.
Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Tom Beattie, said: “It is no secret that this country is facing a housing crisis, as I have publicly stated on numerous occasions. The recent announcement by Government of the lifting of the HRA borrowing cap, long called for by authorities such as Corby Borough Council, will now allow us to tackle this problem without one hand being tied behind our back.
“As a local authority we are doing everything possible to address housing need within our Borough. Corby Borough Council is one of a small amount of authorities across the country that is continuing to build council homes and so far we have built we have built over 200 new homes since 2010.
“We have in development this year a further 48 properties, with an ambitious five year development programme adopted by One Corby Policy Committee in August 2018. We also continue to work to turn around empty homes and work closely with private landlords to utilise as many properties as possible to help alleviate some of the housing pressures.”
Across England, more than 1.1 million families were on council waiting lists - 6% 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, Corby’s social housing stock has risen slightly.
By the end of March 2017, there were 5,840 social and council homes , up from 5,780 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 £9 billion 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.”