People on the social housing register in Ceredigion have to wait between two and three years for a property, figures reveal.

A response to a freedom of information request available online shows that those who need a one-bedroom apartment in the most urgent category (Band A) are having to wait 793 days (more than two years).

Ceredigion County Council confirmed that about 1,850 are waiting for a home in the county – which is up 150 since last April amid the onset of the cost-of-living crisis.

For a two-bedroom flat in Band A the average wait increases to about 847 days and then rises to 866 days for three beds and 1,039 days for four.

There are shorter waiting times the further you go down the banding system – with people in Band C waiting 567 days for a two-bed apartment, for instance.

Shelter Cymru spokesperson Elen Grantham said the figures are reflective of the current situation in Wales, where demand far outstrips supply, and are broadly in line with other Welsh counties.

She said: “The housing and cost of living crisis is hitting hard in all local authorities across Wales with the number of people on housing waiting lists having increased by 40 per cent in the last four years.

“It is important to remember that behind each of these figures are real people, of all ages and from all walks of life, with a very real need for a safe and secure home.

“With such long waiting times, many households who aren’t already homeless face the very harsh reality of being so.

“The causes of homelessness and the need for social housing vary greatly and can include issues such as affordability, availability of housing stock, illness, disability and all sorts of other reasons – but ultimately it is the shortage of social housing that is the root of the problem.

“With increased interest rates and rising costs, the problem is further being added to as we see many private sector landlords selling their properties resulting in homelessness on a large scale.

“There needs to be serious, long-term investment in the development of high quality, social housing that meets the needs of communities and areas such as Ceredigion.

“The Welsh Government has committed to this, but long planning and development times do little to help the people who need help and somewhere to live right now. Wales is currently in a situation where there is a severe shortage of social housing compared to the need for it and developing new social housing is crucial to address this shortfall.

“There are a number of steps that local authorities can take to speed things up in the meantime, such as acquisitions of private rented stock, refurbishment of unused buildings and releasing more land for housing development through rural exception sites.”

There had been more than 1,405 applications for social housing received by the council by March 2022 - up 12 per cent on the year before.

On why waits are longer in the more urgent category, a Ceredigion County Council spokesperson said: “This can be a mixture, the amount of applications within a Band based on the Common Housing Register policy, i.e. there are a greater number within Band A hence the increased waiting time.

“Plus all offers are dependent on the area an applicant has asked to live, if no properties become available in those areas and at the size required then no offers are forthcoming.

“Allocations of Social Housing are in the main made from priority Bands A-C at a ratio of A (40%), B (30%) and C (30%).”

“We work in collaboration with their RSL partners to maximise the funding available to increase the supply of social housing.”