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London council house waiting list up 50,000 in three years

London council housing waiting lists increased by almost 50,000 between 2020 and 2022.

The figure comes from the latest update of  Live tables on rents, lettings and tenancies published this week by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

There were just over 1m people on council house waiting lists at the end of 2022, up from 1.14m in 2022. In most areas the number were largely unchanged over the three years 2020 to 2022.

But notable exceptions included London where the totals were 251,000, 296,000 and 302,000 respectively, West Midland (97,000, 103,000 and 105,000) and the South West (108,000, 113,000 and 123,000).

By contrast, council direct ownership lets had fallen in number from 100,000 in 2020 to 89,000 in 2022. 

The decrease is associated with local authorities transferring their council house stocks to private registered providers, according to the department. Council owned lets now account for just 5.6 per cent of total council lets, implying a total number of direct and indirect council tenants of 1.58m

The average council social and affordable rent paid in England was £90 in 2020, up from £86 in 2020. In London the average was £110 (up from £105 in 2020), in the West Midland £78 (up from £74), and the South West £83 (up from £79).

That paid to private registered providers was £98 (up £3 since 2020).