Well over 1,000 people are chasing just 40 new homes in Bolton amid a worsening “national housing crisis".

The shocking revelation comes as the Blenheim Avenue development in Breightmet, made up of 16 houses and a three-storey block of 24 flats, is nearing completion.

Figures seen by The Bolton News show intense demand for the new living spaces, with around 800 people having expressed interest in the houses and 400 in the flats.

Cllr Sean Fielding, of Breightmet, said: “These figures show how the national housing crisis is felt on the ground here in Bolton.

“Most of the casework I receive where I can offer no help is housing.

The Bolton News: The development is nearing completionThe development is nearing completion (Image: Public)

“It’s really heart-breaking to go and visit people in homes where their poor condition is making people ill, or where overcrowding means there is no space for children to do their homework without distraction.

“Blenheim Avenue is a welcome development but it doesn’t touch the sides for the level of need there is for affordable homes.

“Bolton at Home and other social landlords are doing what they can with the money they have, but ultimately there needs to be a national solution equivalent in scale to the post-war housing boom.

“Only the government can deliver this, but the current government is either sitting on its hands or only facilitating the construction of unaffordable homes for private sale or a form of ‘affordable’ homes that isn’t actually affordable to most people who need them.”

The Bolton News: Hundreds of people have expressed interest in the new homesHundreds of people have expressed interest in the new homes (Image: Public)

Plans for the new homes on the site of the former St Osmund’s RC Primary School off Blenheim Road were approved by Bolton Council in June 2022.

The finished development is set to be made up of 11 three-bedroom houses, five two-bedroom houses and a three-storey apartment block.

The block will be made up of 18 one-bedroom flats and six two-bedroom flats.

Eight of them are set to be available through the “rent to buy” scheme.

But the sheer volume of bids means that the vast majority of people have little prospect of being housed in them.

The most recent figures show there are around 9,000 people waiting for social housing in Bolton, with Bolton at Home having accepted in January this year most will never be housed.

But the housing group says the high levels of demand show just how important developments like Blenheim Avenue have been to tackling waiting lists.

Bolton at Home group director of development and growth Dominic Conway said: “The new homes at Blenheim Road in Breightmet have attracted a high level of interest and will help us provide more people with an affordable and sustainable place to live.

“Having a mix of rent to buy and affordable rent properties in the development, means we can help more people and families in different circumstances.

“It’s no secret that demand for affordable housing far outstrips supply and this is a challenge across the whole of the UK, not just our communities in this region.

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“That’s why building new homes, together with investing and upgrading our existing homes, is such an important part of our strategy.

“We are on track to meet our target set in 2020 of providing 1400 new homes by 2026.

“We also have a comprehensive stock investment strategy that will see hundreds of millions of pounds invested in our existing homes over the coming years.

“Addressing the housing demand is a collective effort.

“We work closely with other agencies and housing providers across the region to help people explore their housing options, to help as many people as possible find a suitable and affordable home.”