A HOUSING association has 50 fewer properties today than four years ago, despite there being more than 1,000 people on the social housing waiting list.
The Examiner has discovered that Paradigm Housing, which has provided social housing in the Chiltern District for nearly 25 years, has 4,730 properties in the area today compared with 4,780 properties in 2008.
The decrease in available social housing properties comes despite there being 1,195 households on the waiting list for social housing in the district (as of August 1), and a further 173 housing applications pending, which compares to 1,130 in 2008.
Councillor Derek Lacey, who is on the district council’s homelessness committee, said: “We need more social housing, not less.
“We have more than 1,000 on the housing list, which is crazy. We have more and more requiring social housing now due the economic situation where first-time buyers are decreasing and people are being evicted due to loss of jobs etc.
“We must ask the question: why is there less housing today?”
The Amersham mayor, Councillor Mimi Harker, said: “This is an important issue as far as housing is concerned because it’s essential and it’s not good if some Paradigm housing is disappearing.
“We need affordable social housing to make sure residents are looked after.
“We need to provide accommodation where it’s needed, we don’t want to see anyone suffering, especially families.”
Spokesperson for Paradigm Housing Richard Hall said: “To ensure the 4,730 properties that Paradigm currently owns in the area remain of a high standard and habitable condition, we work with residents to invest in the houses to make improvements in several areas including kitchens, bathrooms, windows, central heating and other energy efficient measures.
“As part of our housing review process, once a resident has moved out, we look at the property to see if it would make economic sense to make further improvements or sometimes to sell it, for example when sound transmission is a problem, which would cost up to £20,000 per property to repair.”
* What do you think? Are you currently on the waiting list? Email email@example.com.