THOUSANDS of people are being kept waiting to move into a new home as demand by far outstrips supply.
Figures released by the GMB union showed there are currently nearly 14,000 people in Staffordshire on council housing waiting lists.
The union has launched a stinging attack on the Government, with regional secretary Joe Morgan insisting more affordable housing must be made available in the region.
He said: “Council housing is the most cost effective way of providing decent homes for these families.
“Instead nearly two million lower-paid households are housed in private rented dwellings at an annual cost to taxpayers of nearly £10 billion per year to private landlords in housing subsidies. This is waste on an industrial scale.”
The GMB’s figures also revealed average house prices in the region were five times middle earnings.
Mr Morgan said: “Lower-income families are shut even further out of the housing market.
“They need houses for rent. Using expensive private sector landlords funded by taxpayers to provide these houses for rent needs to be phased out.
“The country needs a target for new build homes of 250,000 per year plus a minimum of 30,000 empty homes brought back into use. This cannot be done without a major programme of council house building.”