Research note: What are the chances? The probability of getting a social rent home

By: Eleni Stratton  Published: November 2019


For decades, housebuilding in England of any type has not kept pace with demand. Persistent failure to build the number of homes needed, coupled with the high cost of housing to rent or buy, has contributed to year on year increases in homelessness and declining home ownership.

More people are staying in the private rental sector - forming families and growing older in insecure and often unaffordable tenancies. Affordability pressures mean many more households need help with housing costs.

This analysis aims to determine the chance of a social home for households on the social housing waiting list in England, with a focus on private renters.

1.1 million households were on social housing waiting lists last year, and we estimate nearly 500,000 of these households were private renters. But only 43,000 private renting households were allocated a social rent home in 2017/18. Private renters in need of a social rent home therefore had only a 9% chance of receiving one last year.


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