Figures published by the government reveal a 6% decrease in the total number of social housing lettings in 2017/18, down to 313,000.

These latest numbers mean the number of social homes which become available each year has fallen 21% since 2013/14, when levels were at 397,000.

New lettings have fallen among both council and housing association stock – despite the latter increasing by 25% in the past 10 years.

Data released today also indicated a 37% decrease in the number of homes converted from social rent to affordable rent last year.

Affordable rent can be up to 80% of market rates and is much dearer than social rent in many areas, particularly London and the South East.

According to the Chartered Institute of Housing, more than 100,000 social rent homes were lost in this way from 2011/12 to 2016/17.