THE waiting list for council houses in York has risen by almost 700 people in the space of six months.

New figures produced by City of York Council have shown the number of people awaiting accommodation provided by the authority increased from 3,972 at the end of March to 4,651 at the end of September.

Since July alone, the waiting list has grown by 330, according to an annual report on social housing in the city by Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services.

In the report, she said: “This figure continues to rise across all age groups as private sector rents outstrip income and benefits.”

The report also said rent arrears relating to council house tenants in mid-August, the last figures available, stood at £645,713, although this was £1,046 less than at the same point in 2011.