The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien, has published figures from the 2022 Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) which show a substantial reduction of 36.8% in social housing waiting lists since the first annual assessment was conducted in 2016.
The 2022 SSHA shows 57,842 households were assessed as being qualified for, and in need of, social housing support as of 1 November 2022. This figure is down 1,405 (2.4%) from 59,247 households on 17 November 2021. This figure also represents a total decrease of 33,758 (36.8%) since 2016.
The Minister welcomed the publication of the data, noting that for a sixth consecutive year the overall number of households on local authority waiting lists continued to decrease.
Commenting on the figures, Minister O’Brien said, “the trend is encouraging but we must not, and will not, lose sight of the fact that there are still over 57,000 households who are relying on us for the provision of housing support. That said, we are going in the right direction. Investment in social and affordable housing is significant and funding is in place to deliver a record 11,830 social homes (including 9,100 new-build homes) in 2023.”
The key figure reported in the SSHA is referred to as ‘Net Need’ – that is the total number of households qualified for social housing support but whose need is not currently being met. This total excludes households that are:
- Duplicate applications – where a household has applied to more than one area for social housing, only their oldest application is included in the count.
- Already in receipt of social housing support, for example: households currently living in local authority rented accommodation, voluntary/co-operative accommodation, accommodation provided under the HAP scheme, accommodation provided under the RAS, or accommodation provided under the SHCEP schemes.
- On a transfer list – any household that has applied for a transfer from an existing form of social housing support.