The pandemic has been blamed for increases in rent arrears and delays to repairs, as well as increasing numbers claiming benefits.

North Ayrshire Council’s Audit and Scrutiny Committee heard the percentage of tenancy offers refused by would-be householders fell from 49.61 per cent to 32.99 per cent.

Council chiefs say the change “may be attributable” to the fact that 58 per cent of lets secured during 2020/21 were to those logged as homeless. 

Despite the pandemic, the number of people waiting on adaptations to be carried out to their home, dropped from

84 in 2019/20 to just 12 in 2020/21.

Figures show the number of days taken to carry out such works reduced from 62.96 to 54.79.

The council’s homeless service saw an 8.41 per cent increase in tenancy sustainment for residents who were previously homeless.

But the average amount of time taken by the authority to complete temporary repairs grew – from 2.96 hours in 2019/20 to 3.45 hours in 2020/21.

It also took longer to complete routine repairs, with time scales increasing from 6.30 days on average in 2019/20 to 9.75 days in this financial year.