Up to four in ten households are on waiting lists for council housing in some parts of England.
A survey by the Local Government Association shows that 63 councils have more than one in ten residents on a housing list.
Of those, eight have more than one in five on their list.
Nearly 1.6 million households are on council waiting lists – about four million people. This is expected to rise to five million by 2010. But only 170,000 houses come up for rent each year.
In Brent, north London, 41 percent of households are on a housing list, while in Sheffield the figure is 39.7 percent.
In Newham, east London, 25.5 percent of households are on the list, in Bradford 24.3 percent and in Bolton 23 percent.
Meanwhile there are over one million empty homes nationwide. Although most are privately owned, 15 percent belong to housing associations and councils.
At the same time local authorities give approximately £250 million to private landlords to house people in bed and breakfasts and hostels.
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