MORE than 8,000 people are on a waiting list for a council house - with more people bidding on less properties - according to latest figures revealed in a new report.

A total of 18,600 homes are in the council’s own stock - as well as 4,500 provided by housing associations - but bids for available properties have spiked in the last two years, with houses, flats, bungalows and bedsits all registering higher-than-average demand.

Average bids for houses stood at 108 applications in 2019, but that rose to a 262 average in 2021 - a 143 per cent hike.

The demand for flats doubled from an average of 24 to 49 - or 105 per cent - as did bungalows and bedsits, which both climbed 76 per cent and 67 per cent respectively.

The report said: “Between 2019 and 2021, the mismatch of supply versus demand for accommodation has increased - more people are bidding on fewer properties.

“As at September, there were 8,382 people on the council’s waiting list and a property turnover of between 1,000 and 1,300 per year.

“The council’s lettings policy is currently being reviewed with plans to amend the policy to ensure that it can better meet the needs of those in housing need going forward.

“It should be noted that the council’s opportunity to invest in new housing is, and has been, significantly constrained for several years.

“This is due to the availability of suitable development land in the council’s ownership, the costs associated with direct delivery in terms of both finances and resources and a lack of funding or borrowing opportunity.

“The council and Berneslai Homes are thus exploring options for the future of our stock which includes both investment and disinvestment, opportunities for borrowing and takes into consideration the wider housing market, contributions that other affordable housing providers will be making to address need and any gaps in delivery that the council should fill.”

Due to be discussed by a scrutiny panel on Tuesday, the document shows the local authority’s house-building programme is ahead of schedule, with 2,633 built over a target of 2,323 since 2018/19.

Although builds have slowed - going from 905 in 2018/19 to 588 in 2020/21 - Barnsley is ‘comfortably exceeding’ its housing delivery target.

The report added: “The housing supply statement confirms that 7,637 net dwellings can be delivered, which equates to a six-year supply.

“This provides comfort that there is a deliverable supply of housing sites across the borough.

“Delivery of these housing sites include an element of affordable and social housing provision.”