A council has confessed that only families with “very significant housing needs” are likely to secure places in the accommodation it provides.

It comes after the government recently pledged to “fix the broken housing market”, with an extra £2 billion investment into affordable housing part of its plan.

Harrow Council explained how it has a very small social housing stock and that “very few” properties become available each year.

It added that housing demand greatly outstrips supply and that there are currently 1,993 households in Harrow on the housing register.

Many are forced to live in temporary accommodation, sometimes for several years, with the prospect of owning their own home nothing more than a pipe dream.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has previously criticised ‘Nimbys’, who don’t want housing developments built close to their homes.

He recently told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the Government should build up to 300,000 new homes each year to help solve the housing crisis, suggesting that it should borrow more money to invest in infrastructure.  

But a YouGov poll found that just 17 per cent of people would be happy for a new housing development to be built within half a mile of their home.

Yet 38 per cent would be happy to have extra social housing within the same distance, while only 22 per cent were against the idea.

Mr Javid also said it was important to support young people who are “trying, and failing, to find a home they can afford”.

“The opportunity my generation took for granted now seems lost to many. This is a national outrage,” he told a conference.

Harrow Council makes use of the Locata choice based lettings system to try and ease the housing crisis in the borough.

While there are strict eligibility criteria, it intends to give people more choice about where they want to live in London.