Figures obtained by Plaid Cymru reveal that applicants for council homes could wait seven years for a local authority property in Caerphilly County.
A Freedom of Information response showed that 4,448 active applications on the waiting list with just 634 properties allocated in the last financial year.
The response revealed that on April 1, 2020 there were 209 council properties – many waiting for repairs or maintenance – vacant with one house empty for almost six years.
Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “While work has recently begun on a development of 55 homes at Aberbargoed, only six of them are social rent homes for Caerphilly council. Although welcome, this is a drop in the ocean.
“I do have the concerns about the number of vacant council houses in Caerphilly county, which at 209 is higher than in neighbouring Cardiff, a much bigger authority. So it is vital that once properties are vacated all efforts are made to put them back into use as soon as possible.
“We also believe council house building really needs to be stepped up. Plaid Cymru has committed to increasing social housing by at least 30,000 in a term of its government.”
Councillor Colin Mann said that he would also be seeking information on the target time for re-allocating council homes to new tenants. “I’m aware that when one of our members was a housing association manager covering more than 3,000 properties he had a target of re-letting within four days. We need to look at whether vacancy times can be reduced.”
Delyth Jewell, MS, Plaid Cymru Candidate for Caerphilly at next May’s Senedd elections, said: “If there is an issue with maintenance and bringing homes up to standard quickly for re-letting then action is needed to ensure there are adequate resources to carry out the necessary work.
“Every month a property is empty means there is no rental income. So it really isn’t as if the council is saving money through not having more people to do maintenance and repair.”