Birmingham City Council considering closing social housing waiting list to new applicants - here's why

The council is considering closing its social housing waiting list to new applicants
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Birmingham City Council has confirmed it is considering closing its social housing waiting list to new applicants amid a worrying backlog of applications.

Thousands are seeking a council home amid the housing crisis with the authority recently warning the shortage of accommodation was “severely restricting” the options it could offer to people in need.

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It has previously encouraged those in housing need to look at all options, including applying to housing associations and considering the private rented sector.

In a recent update, the council said it has more than 23,000 households on its housing register, as well as 11,000 applications to the register that are yet to be assessed. It added that it receives more than 400 new applications each week.

“In a typical year we are able to allocate 2,000-3,000 homes,” a spokesperson for Birmingham City Council said. The authority went on to say it is currently reviewing its services – including the social housing register.

“As part of that consideration, we have been raising the option of closing the housing register to new public applications with a number of stakeholders to understand the impact this might have,” the council spokesperson continued.

Birmingham City Council HouseBirmingham City Council House
Birmingham City Council House

“No decision has been made at the moment.”

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The council spokesperson added: “Before final decisions are made, we will ensure that a route remains for exceptional circumstances to be considered.

“The council will continue to provide information, advice and guidance to households in housing need, including on how to approach other social landlords and help available to secure a home in the private rented sector.”

The council’s website warns that the demand to rent social housing is greater than the number of properties it has available. Joining the register may not result in you being housed quickly or in your preferred area or property type,” it goes on to say.

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