GMB Experts in the World of Work
Join GMB today
 Follow @GMB_union

1.9 Million Families On The Housing Waiting List

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

1,843,992 Families In England And Scotland On Council Housing Waiting List As Average House Prices Are Now Between 5.8 And 6.3 Times Median Earnings

An incoming Labour Government from 2015 must make affordable housing a central part of its economic and social strategy says GMB.

There are 1,843,992 households in England and Scotland on a local authority housing waiting list while average house prices are now 6.3 times median earnings in England and 5.8 times median earnings in Scotland.

London has 344,294 households on a local authority housing waiting list while average house prices in the capital are now 13.4 times median earnings. Yorkshire and The Humber has 236,105 households on a local authority housing waiting list while average house prices in the region are now 4.8 times median earnings. The South East has 235,399 households on a local authority housing waiting list while average house prices in the region are now 7.6 times median earnings. The data for all 10 regions in the country are set out in the table below.

There are 1,688,892 households in England on a local authority housing waiting list while average house prices are now 6.3 times median earnings. No data on waiting lists is collected for Wales.

There are 61,204 families on the waiting list in Sheffield. That is the highest number on the waiting list from 175 councils in England. Set out in notes to editors number 7 are the details for the top 20 councils in England for the number on the waiting list.

This data is drawn from a new study by GMB on the latest official figures for housing waiting lists, average house prices and median earning. See notes to editors for sources and definitions. The full study is attached at the foot of this release as a pdf. Also attached as pdfs are regional releases for all ten regions.

GMB 2014 Congress agreed new strategic policies for the housing market as a whole set out in a report on housing. This makes radical and realistic proposals for a comprehensive housing strategy for an incoming Labour government. The special housing report is attached as a pdf at foot of this release.

Table - Number of households on local council waiting list and house prices

 

 

Number of households on a Local Authority waiting list

Average house price - May 2014

Median Earnings 2013

ratio

 

 

     

 

 

England

1,688,892

£172,035

£27,375

6.3

 

Scotland

155,100

£153,352

£26,456

5.8

 

England & Scotland

1,843,992

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

London

344,294

£439,719

£32,800

13.4

 

Yorkshire and The Humber

236,105

£119,472

£24,982

4.8

 

South East

235,399

£226,334

£29,732

7.6

 

North West

210,397

£110,161

£25,300

4.4

 

South West

194,374

£180,265

£25,632

7.0

 

West Midlands

155,913

£133,985

£25,359

5.3

 

Scotland

155,100

£153,352

£26,456

5.8

 

East of England

147,013

£188,580

£28,323

6.7

 

East Midlands

106,477

£130,553

£25,399

5.1

 

North East

58,920

£99,319

£24,229

4.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Kenny, GMB General Secretary, said “1,843,992 households on the waiting lists for social housing in England and Scotland is a direct result of the dominance of the metropolitan elite, career politicians and professional classes in all Parties in Parliament for more than a generation.

MPs have contempt, born of pure ignorance, for building good quality council homes for families of millions of lower paid workers who can never afford to buy a home. 

Council housing is the most cost effective way of providing decent homes for these families. Instead nearly two million lower paid households are housed in private rented dwellings at an annual cost to taxpayers of nearly £10 billion per year to private landlords in housing subsidies.  This is waste on an industrial scale.

Average houses prices are now 6.3 times median earnings in England and 5.8 times in Scotland. Even though GDP per capita in 2013 is 5.7% below 2007 levels house prices are still rising. By contrast there has been a 13.8% drop in the real value of average earnings of all employees in employment between April 2008 and November 2013 in the UK.

Lower income families are shut even further out of the housing market. They need houses for rent. Using expensive private sector landlords funded by taxpayers to provide these houses for rent needs to be phased out.  

The country needs a target for new build homes of 250,000 per year plus a minimum of 30,000 empty homes brought back into use. At least 80,000 of the target need to be in the social housing sector. This cannot be done without a major programme of council house building. See notes to editors for programme adopted by GMB Congress last month on housing.

An incoming Labour Government from 2015 must make affordable housing a central part of its economic and social strategy. Some of the strategic and institutional changes will take time to put into full effect but the intention needs to be clear from the start with an immediate emergency programme and legislative action from the first session of the new Parliament.”

End

Contact: Lisa Johnson, GMB Political Officer on 07900 392 228 or Cath Speight, GMB Political Officer on 07506 711 925 or Kamaljeet Jandu, GMB Inclusion and Diversity Officer on 07956 237178 or GMB Press Office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289 880

Notes to editors

Sources

1 Households on local authorities' housing waiting lists in England at April 2013
Source: Table 600, Department for Communities and Local Government. Data comes from the Local Authority Housing Statistics

2 Local Authority Housing Lists in Scotland at 31 March 2013 Source: Housing List returns by local authorities to the Scottish Government, Communities Analytical Services (Housing Statistics)

3 Average House Price data in England - May 2014 Source: Land Registry House Price Index. All average prices represent standardised seasonally adjusted prices.

4 Average House Price data in Scotland - January-March 2014 Source: Registers of Scotland Quarterly House Price Statistical Report

5 Earnings data – 2013 Full-time employees median gross annual pay: Data for Median Gross Annual pay for full-time employees by place of residence. Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2013, Office for National Statistics.

Source: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-328216                                                                                  

6 GMB Congress Housing Policy

The country needs a target for new build homes of 250,000 per year plus a minimum of 30,000 empty homes brought back into use. At least 80,000 of the target need to be in the social housing sector. This cannot be done without a major programme of council house building.

GMB Congress is calling for strategic changes in policy to deliver this ambitious target as follows:

  • All Housing Policy and resources for England focussed in one Whitehall Department
  • A long Term Plan to switch over 20 year Government support from Housing Benefit to New Build and improvement
  • Establishment of City Region level Housing Delivery Bodies with equivalent bodies in Devolved Administrations and for Rural Housing

GMB Congress also calls for action on specific policy areas as follows:

  • Halt the integration of Housing Benefit into Universal Credit
  • Integrate and Redirect Support Guarantee Schemes from Help to Buy to Help to Build
  • Fundamental Review of Social Housing ‘Affordable Rents’ Policy
  • Stalled Developments of over 6 months face sanctions or be transferred
  • Local Authority borrowing powers for housing to be redefined and the cap removed
  • Introduction of Housing Bonds for Local Authorities, Housing Associations and Developers of Affordable Homes
  • Start a Financial Conduct Authority Review of the Mortgage Market to achieve greater stability and equity
  • Start discussions with Pension Funds on commitments and regulation to direct capital into all forms of affordable housing
  • Start discussions with construction industry on shortages of finance, land and skilled labour and how to overcome them.
  • Compulsory Acquisition of Empty Homes
  • Regulation of Private Rented Sector
  • Changes to Planning Laws on land designation, mixed communities and social housing
  • Legislative Basis for Housing Commissions at City Region level
  • Separation of Regulatory and Funding Roles of HCA and establishment of an Affordable Homes Commission
  • Improved Building Regulation on Housing Design
  • Legislative Basis for Rural Housing Commission
  • Affordable Homes Commission and Rental Market Regulator
  • Housing Bank
  • New Towns

7 Top Twenty Areas in England with the Number on Housing Waiting Lists.

 

 

Number of households on a Local Authority waiting list

Average house price - May 2014

Median Earnings 2013

ratio

 

         

rank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Sheffield

61,204

£118,469

£24,597

4.8

2

Hampshire

37,923

£220,125

£30,000

7.3

3

Essex

36,119

£199,769

£29,665

6.7

4

Kent

35,761

£193,979

£28,736

6.8

5

Hertfordshire

34,034

£265,251

£31,949

8.3

6

Cornwall UA

28,336

£184,545

£22,246

8.3

7

Rotherham

26,158

£99,515

£24,772

4.0

8

Edinburgh, City of

25,765

£214,736

£29,706

7.2

9

Waltham Forest

25,054

£327,784

£28,021

11.7

10

Tower Hamlets

24,428

£438,244

£35,019

12.5

11

Lancashire

24,427

£102,218

£24,856

4.1

12

Nottinghamshire

24,222

£124,472

£25,216

4.9

13

Newham

24,179

£256,431

£28,283

9.1

14

Surrey

22,300

£330,801

£34,657

9.5

15

Devon

22,034

£195,688

£23,780

8.2

16

Norfolk

21,716

£150,909

£24,348

6.2

17

Worcestershire

21,061

£172,269

£25,980

6.6

18

Camden

20,720

£748,921

£37,685

19.9

19

Leeds

20,334

£124,551

£26,200

4.8

20

Wakefield

19,530

£105,486

£22,836

4.6

 

 

Share this page
+1

Additional Resources

Numbers of households on local authorities' housing waiting lists

download pdf0Kb (pdf) - 15 July 2014

Full Table Of Figures

GMB CEC Special Report On Housing Congress 2014

download pdf0Kb (pdf) - 15 July 2014

GMB CEC Special Report

41,356 Northern Ireland Families On Council Housing Waiting List

download pdf0Kb (pdf) - 15 July 2014

Related GMB Press Release For Northern Ireland