Homeless household waiting list doubles

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Latest figures point to a shortage of one and two-bedroom homes available to homeless households in Babergh.

Last year, the waiting time faced by those needing one-bedroom accommodation rose from 98 days to 225.

The wait for a two-bed property also increased from 115 days in 2012 to 150 days in 2014.

Sue Lister, corporate manager for housing options at Babergh District Council, said there had been a growing demand for smaller properties as more people looked to downsize.

“I think, compared to more urban areas, the wait is still relatively small,” she said.

“Our strategic housing teams are either building ourselves or proposing to build more properties.”

In 2014, the number of social tenants in Babergh downsizing to a smaller property was 48 – the highest figure since 2011.

Ms Lister said planning applications were already being submitted to build smaller properties in the hope of reducing the current waiting time of around seven months for homeless households.

She said: “We don’t want people to have to wait in temporary accommodation.

“We are looking at what the demand is and trying to build what is needed.”