One million people are on the waiting list for social housing in the United Kingdom, which sells 20,000 of them each year

One million people are on the waiting list for social housing in the United Kingdom, which sells 20,000 of them each year

His mother worries that when he grows older, he may become too heavy and they would both fall down the narrow stairs.

Leo now sleeps in a medical bed in the dining room, which isn't ideal for Emma, who has to test his blood throughout the night.

Leo has KPTN (kaptin, actin-binding protein) Syndrome, a rare genetic disease. Only 40 people in the world have it, and only three in the UK.
It affects his mobility, growth, muscular tone, and vision. The schoolboy is nonverbal, tube fed, and has up to 70 seizures every day.

Many might imagine that a single mother with a disabled son would be first in line for a decent council home.

After 12 years in a private flat with her two sons, Emma has been told she may have to wait ten years for social accommodation.

She doesn't want to leave Liverpool's southside, where Leo attends a special school for visually impaired youngsters.
Emanuel Paul and Leo, his Emma lives in a private leased home but has been on a public housing waiting list for 5 years. Her private rental is about to be sold, and she's having problems finding a place to rent that matches her son's needs. She needs to carry Leo everywhere, so the bathroom steps are particularly risky.
But last summer, her landlord indicated he wanted to sell her 12-year-old two-bedroom terrace.

Emma's condition is becoming desperate since she has few options for private or social housing.

According to the Chartered Institute of Housing, 280,000 social rented homes will be sold off in England between 2021 and 2020.

121,000 were sold under Margaret Thatcher's Right-to-Buy programme.

On the other hand, 116,000 were demolished to make way for more reasonable rents.

The number of private rented households in the UK increased from 2.8 million in 2007 to 4.5 million in 2014.

With almost a million households on a waiting list for social housing and less than 7,000 social homes created last year, the crisis gripping England is unlikely to be resolved soon.
The Covid-19 pandemic has made matters worse, adds Emma, as people who might otherwise leave Liverpool are now staying put.

Every week, the 42-year-old mother of two enters a property pool to examine Housing Association properties.

‘Not much is happening. ‘I've only ever been in the top 10 for four years, despite travelling every week,' she tells

‘When they found out my son is in a wheelchair, they stated they couldn't let me in since there is a step to the front door and stairs up to the bedroom.

Why can't you get a £400 monthly tenancy? Can't I pay that to carry my son up a set of stairs rather than under a private landlord? It's not perfect, but it's better than where I am today.

‘The bureaucracy has gotten out of hand. They stated the council would only install a stair lift for a youngster who could run it themselves — Leo is profoundly learning handicapped, therefore he couldn't handle it himself.

‘You literally rip your hair out.'
‘Two years later, I'm carrying him up another set of dangerous stairs, this one much shorter and shallower. It drives you insane.

A three-bedroom ground-floor flat or a three-bedroom cottage are uncommon than hen's teeth.

Then there's Access Liverpool, a disabled-only council housing registration, although Emma hasn't had any luck with them since 2017.

‘They tried everything to discourage me,' she added.

When I first joined the property pool, the guy told me I would have to wait at least 10 years if I wanted to buy a house in the southend of Liverpool.'

‘I'm desperate to get out of here for any house that's safer than what I'm in now.'

Part-time bookshop worker Emma is still seeking for a private rental apartment, but offers of up to £1,000 per month make it difficult.

‘I used to search through Rightmove and Zoopla and there'd be about seven to ten pages. Now you don't fill a page.
‘I call about what comes up. ‘We've had 30 calls within an hour, we're not taking any more names,' she added.

Emma says she nearly got a better deal for £1,000 a month but was outbid by a couple from the south by only £50.

Emma fears she is being discriminated against because she is a single parent.

‘They'll think two incomes are better than one, which is nonsense because so many people, especially young people, are unemployed and in debt.

So my situation is significantly more solid, I can tell you what I will be earning in 10 years or 20 years without a shadow of a doubt.'

Emma is now supported by Shelter Housing Charity. People being forced into extremely expensive and unstable private rentals that are often of terrible quality and where you can be evicted just for complaining, said the organisation's chief executive Polly Neate.

We still lose many more social houses than we develop every year, despite the evident and urgent need for decent and secure social housing

Only 7,000 new social houses were created last year, yet roughly three times as many were sold or demolished.

Our social housing stock is truly dwindling, with over a million households on waiting lists in England.

To improve the situation, Government and the new Housing Secretary must move immediately. We need to invest heavily to create 90,000 high-quality, green social homes per year, giving low-income families a safe and secure home they can afford.'

Every year, almost 20,000 social houses are lost, according to Action on Empty Homes' Chris Bailey.

‘The government's recent position has been particularly focused on boosting house ownership,' he says.

‘They've put tens of billions into buying. Essentially, the government owns a 20% share in people's homes. In that sense, the government has essentially bought high housing prices, and that investment pays off if house prices continue to rise.

‘But rising house prices don't help those who can't afford to buy.

‘They don't work well for folks who can't afford rental homes.

‘In reality, at least 40% of the population will never buy a home, and those individuals will be dependent on rental housing.

‘Today, roughly twice as many individuals rent privately as there were 10 or 15 years ago.

‘That means more of those people are renting property without rent controls.

That we're supporting it with housing benefits is slightly absurd. Due to rising housing expenses, we are now supporting a large number of working individuals with housing benefits, which is absurd.

They should provide more inexpensive housing so we don't have to do that.