'A continued failure' as 150,000 waiting for council houses in Scotland

The Scottish Conservatives have accused the SNP of failing to meet the housing needs of Scotland, claiming 150,000 people have been “left in limbo” by Nicola Sturgeon’s party.

Thousands of Scots are on the council housing waiting list in Scotland.

Statistics released to the party in response to a parliamentary question show that 142,000 people in Scotland are waiting for council or social housing, up from 108,000 in 2016.

However, the overall figure has reduced by 3,000 since those seeking social housing were added to the figures in 2017 from 145,000 to 142,000.

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The figures are also almost two years out of date, with no data for 2020 or 2021 from the Scottish Household Survey due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Housing spokesperson for the Conservatives, Miles Briggs, said the figures were “shameful”.

He said: “These new figures lay bare the SNP’s continued failures to secure council housing for so many people across Scotland.

“It is shameful that almost 150,000 people on average in recent years have been left in limbo over their housing arrangements. The pandemic is likely to have made this situation even worse.

“We need to see the SNP take urgent action to sort this housing crisis out.

“The SNP have failed to meet the demand for Scotland’s housing needs and slashed funding to our local authorities. Ministers must ensure nobody will be waiting a moment longer than necessary on council housing waiting lists and immediately reverse this trend.”

Glasgow has one of the longest council housing waiting lists and has seen the number grow to levels not seen since 2014 with 20,000 people waiting on a council house or for social housing as of 2019, a rise of 5,000 compared to the year prior.

Other areas such as Perth and Kinross which has seen waiting lists grow to 7,000 in 2019 from 3,000 in 2018 and Fife where 24,000, up from 14,000 in 2014, are waiting for affordable housing.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland has been leading the way across the UK with delivery of affordable housing, but we know there is more to do to ensure everyone has a warm, affordable home that meets their needs in a vibrant, safe community.

“As we announced this month, council areas across Scotland are to share more than £3.2 billion in grant funding over five years to deliver more affordable homes.

“We have already delivered more than 102,000 affordable homes since 2007. Building on this, our aim is to deliver 100,000 affordable homes by 2032, with at least 70 per cent of these for social rent.”

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