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WAITING LIST: Social housing demand

WAITING LIST: Social housing demand

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The number of people currently waiting for social housing in St Helens has topped 10,450.

The public currently have the chance to share their views on how the borough’s social and affordable rented housing is allocated to residents, as part of a detailed public consultation which launched earlier this month.

Social housing provided by registered providers aims to offer residents an affordable home in communities, providing stability for individuals and families.

The draft housing allocations policy establishes a revised framework for the allocation of social housing in the borough.

The document says, since the transfer of the housing stock to the then-Helena Homes in 2001, the council is no longer a landlord of social housing.

However, despite its status as a non-stock holding authority, it maintains statutory duties in respect of the allocation of social housing.

Under One Roof, which is delivered for St Helens Council by Torus, is the name of the allocations scheme that administers the letting of social rented properties.

In a report to the council’s cabinet at its meeting last month, it said there are currently more than 8,300 applicants and “many more people” within each household currently waiting for an offer of accommodation.

Torus has this week confirmed that the waiting list for social housing in St Helens is made up of 7,620 applicants – a reduction from the 8,300 as of the end of March. The figures are updated and provided to St Helens Council quarterly.

However, the actual number of people waiting for a property in the borough exceeds 7,620.

A Torus spokesman said: “The waiting list is constantly changing as a result of new applications, applicants being rehoused and applicants not renewing or cancelling their application.

“The 7,620 figure represents the number of applications, not the number of people within the moving household.

“Around 60 per cent of applications are made by single people and couples; including additional dependents, the total number of people waiting for a social housing property is 10,451.

“The largest demand is for one-bedroom properties, 54 per cent, followed by 29 per cent for two-bedrooms, 12 per cent for three-bedroom, four per cent for four-bedroom and there are currently eight applications for homes with five or six bedrooms.

“With renting becoming more popular, we are seeing more people applying for social and affordable housing.

“Torus has a high profile. People can see Torus is building new homes, which has also increased traffic to the website to apply to rent.”


Words: Aran Dhillon, Local Democracy Reporter

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