There are currently 4,940 households on the Chelmsford local authority housing waiting list. Of these, 3,900 are living within the local authority area and 1,040 are living outside the authority area.
In 1997, there were 3,600 households on the waiting list living within the local authority area. There was a negligible number of households on the waiting list who were living outside the area as the pre-2002 allocations policy did not allow people living outside the Chelmsford LA area to register for housing, with the exception of a small number of homeless cases.
Not everyone on the waiting list is necessarily in urgent housing need. The waiting list includes those who consider social housing as their preferred or one of a number of housing options, and those who decide to get onto the waiting list ladder before they need or want to move house—particularly where the priority system is heavily based on waiting time.