More than 100 Brent residents who have been living in temporary accommodation for several years attended a forum to assess their housing options.
The event was so popular that extra chairs had to be brought into the conference hall for the third temporary accommodation user forum held at Brent Civic Centre since last year.
Social housing applicants, who have been on the waiting list for a number of years, turned up to hear the housing options available to them. They were given advice on using Locata, placing regular bids for social housing across the borough and ensuring that the council had their up-to-date details.
Laurence Coaker, Head of Housing Needs, Cllr Harbi Farah, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, and Lavdrim Krashi, Accommodation Service Manager, gave talks explaining the realities of a lack of availability in social housing in Brent. The average wait for a three bedroom home in the borough is 14 years.
Genesis and Shepherds Bush Housing Associations, alongside Network Homes, were on hand to give advice alongside councillors and council officers. Clients were also able to raise any concerns they may have about their current temporary accommodation.
Cllr Harbi Farah said: "There are over 3,000 people currently in temporary accommodation in Brent. We want people to attend these forums because it is the clients who need to take the lead in finding their home, not the council.
"We are working closely with local residents to address what is a national problem. We are listening to residents' concerns and sharing the council's difficulties in providing social housing."
The council is no longer obliged to make social housing offers to people registered as homeless. Anyone who registered as homeless after 9 November 2012 may be offered a home within the private rented sector.
Discover your options to find your home within the private rented sector here.
Temporary accommodation residents are encouraged to bid weekly for social housing using Locata here.
Make sure you keep the council up-to-date of any changes in your circumstances within temporary accommodation through Locata.