Portsmouth used to have a waiting list of over 12,000 people who wanted a house. But when council officers spoke to people on the list, they discovered that only 2,000 people had a housing need. They talked to applicants about their realistic prospects of being housed and where in the city. Some people took themselves off the list; others were helped to get alternative accommodation with other providers – often in the private sector.
To follow the current CBL logic, anyone who asks to be put on a waiting list gets put on one. This, of course, creates a cottage industry around managing the ongoing collation and updating the list. This is often portrayed as being value work. Having been placed on the list, the real delusion begins. People can then start to bid for properties; that is if they can master the complex IT bidding systems so beloved of the DCLG … who say this is best practice.