One household has been waiting for a home in Greenwich for 47 years, it can be revealed.
It comes as an investigation by the Local Democracy Service found that more than 2,000 people have been on the council’s waiting list for a decade or more.
Figures revealed through a Freedom of Information act request show that 60% of the register – 7,275 households – have been on there for three years or more.
In a borough where there are 19,000 families waiting for a home, 18% of them have been on the list for a decade or more, whilst 20% have been on there for at least five years.
The council runs a choice-based lettings system, meaning applicants bid and decide what property is suitable for them.
Asked for the longest period somebody has been on the waiting list, the council admitted: “Currently the longest registered application has been registered for 47 years 4 months.”
Figures revealed to the Local Democracy Service show the average wait for a two bed home in the borough verges into just over two and a half years.
Homeless families waited an average of 976 days for a two bed home last year, a big improvement on the wait faced in 2017/18 of 2,285 days, but still up on 2016/17’s figure of 695.
Currently, homeless households face a four and a half year wait if they are looking for a four-bed home.
Housing has been prioritised by the council since last year’s local election, with the authority preparing to embark on the biggest house building scheme “in a generation”.
The council is spending nearly £2m more on homelessness than it was in 2015 and has borrowed millions to start building 750 new builds.
Responding to the figures, cabinet member for housing, Chris Kirby, said: “There are more people looking for council and housing association homes in Royal Greenwich than there are properties available, and as a result the Council has to allocate homes to people who are most in need.
“When a person is placed on the housing list in Royal Greenwich, based on our allocation policy they will be put into one of four bands – A, B1, B2 and C.
“The majority of housing applicants sit within band C with no priority, so this will naturally lead to a longer waiting time for most people on the list.
“The particular applicant who has been waiting for 47 years, is in band C and was made an offer in 2012, which they refused.”