England’s largest council may close its housing waiting list due to a build up of 11,000 unassessed applications

Birmingham City Council leaders have confirmed that they are considering closing the local authority’s housing waiting list to deal with a backlog of thousands of applications for council homes.

Birmingham City Council has 23,000 households on its housing register, and 11,000 applications awaiting assessment

The council has said that there are currently over 23,000 households on the housing register. In addition to those on the housing register, a further 11,000 applications to join the housing register have yet to be assessed.

Last month, the council issued a statement revealing that there are more than  22,000 households on the housing register in Birmingham, including 5,000 households that are homeless and living in temporary accommodation.

The council has said it receives over 400 new housing register applications per week but is only able to allocate 2,000-3,000 social homes per year on average.

>> See also: What happens to housing development plans when a council goes ‘bankrupt’?

>> See also: Birmingham council considers tower plan to replace brutalist Ringway centre

According to the council, in some areas of Birmingham, the average applicant will wait over 20 years to be allocated a council home.

The council says it has not yet made a decision on whether to close the waiting list, but has confirmed that it is considering proposals to do so.

The council has said that the proposal is not linked to its S114 notice.

Birmingham City Council faces a budget overspend of £87.4m for the 2023/24 financial year.

It is projected that the council’s housing budget needs to be cut by 28% (£7m) following its issuance of a Section 114 notice in September last year as a result of the budget shortfall. This has led to the council reviewing all of its services, to assess where savings can be made.