Council housing stock slumps 
to lowest level in ten years

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The number of council houses has hit a record low, despite a major building drive in the past few years.

New figures have revealed that there were 319,384 council houses in March 2012, the lowest in at least ten years. This is despite a steady rise in new council house building, culminating in 866 council houses completed this year.

Total social housing stock, which includes council and housing association houses, has remained fairly steady in the past three years (594,874), although it is down about a tenth from ten years ago. Private-sector house building has picked up with a 24 per cent year-on-year rise in new construction. The 10,827 new homes started last year represents the biggest private building drive since the banking crisis in 2008, although the number of houses completed has hit a record low (15,112).

The total number of houses is at its highest in at least 16 years, rising to 2.49 million at a time when Scotland’s population hit a record high of 5.25 million.

However, the number of applicants on the social housing waiting list has dropped to an eight-year low of 187,935.