A family gave up their wait for a council house after spending nearly half a century on the waiting list.
New figures show the extent of the housing shortage in the district after Braintree Council revealed it has a back log of 2,983 housing applications.
One person had been on the waiting list since 1967 but finally gave up in November last year.
Two active applications have been in the system for 24 years but the council said it considers the families to be adequately housed.
However families must still register themselves in need of social housing every 12 months.