New figures released after a Freedom of Information request by ITV News show thousands of people are on a waiting list for just a few dozen houses in Bristol.
More than 9000 people are on the waiting list for social housing in the city but of all the properties under council ownership only 41 are available to rent.
The figures have come out on the same day new Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees will announce his cabinet - including a new member for housing.
The Labour mayor put housing at the forefront of his campaign, promising to build 2000 homes a year by 2020.
properties under council ownership in Bristol.
people on the waiting list for social housing in the city.
homes available to rent.
The figures mean even for those in most need the average waiting time for a home is 12 months.
The council admit, less urgent cases, can expect to wait "a lot longer and might never receive an offer".
One woman who understands the tension of that wait is Rebecca Davidson.
The 33-year-old mum of two has just been given a council house after waiting 8 months on the list.
She had to leave her privately-rented property in July 2015 because her landlord decided to sell it.
It took 8 weeks to be assessed by the council before she was eventually put up in an unsuitable B&B which her autistic son struggled to adapt to.
She was then offered a bedsit with just one double bed which she refused to take. She was told she was intentionally homeless and therefore the council had no duty of care to her.
Eventually she was given a council house in Knowle on the other side of the city to where she had lived for years in St Paul's.