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Government response to affordable rental housing crisis is not good enough

Recently released figures on demand for and supply of public housing continue to demonstrate the inadequacy of Government’s housing responses says the Child Poverty Action Group.

“The Government has been responding to our chronic shortage of affordable rental housing for five years now and it is disappointing that we are still going backwards with demand growth being twice as much as the houses being made available” says CPAG housing spokesperson, Alan Johnson.

 “Surely this should be triggering in the mind of the Government and its advisors the need for a far more radical response than the tinkering we have seen over the past five years. There is simply no light at the end of this tunnel of chronic housing shortages and unmet need” says Johnson.

At the end March 2022 there 26,868 households on the public housing list compared with 25,525 in December and 23,687 in March 2021.  Over the same period the stock of social housing units available for renting to low-income households grew from 74,055 in March 2021 to 75,309 in March 2022.

The data shows a new record number of households on the public housing waiting list alongside steady, but only modest growth in the numbers of social housing units available for these households. “For every 100 extra social housing units made available by the Government over the past year or so we have seen an extra 212 households with serious unmet housing needs being added to the 'waited list” says Johnson.

“While Government is certainly trying to address this shortage its approach and its lack of urgency need to be addressed if we are ever to see progress in the next three to five years” says Johnson.

You can view the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Public Housing Quarterly Report for March 2022 here

Related links:

Changes in the social housing stock - 2017 to 2022

Changes in the public housing waiting list - 2014 to 2022