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by Kirsteen Paterson
16 February 2024
Emergency call as 40,000 disabled Scots wait on social housing lists

The figures were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives | Alamy

Emergency call as 40,000 disabled Scots wait on social housing lists

Almost 40,000 people with disabilities are waiting for social housing in Scotland, figures show.

The figure of 39,875 people on lists for council or housing association properties includes 1,569 children with disabilities.

However, the true total may be even higher because five of Scotland's 32 local authorities said they did not hold the relevant data.

The Scottish Conservatives, who obtained the figures, have called on the Scottish Government to declare a national housing emergency.

Miles Briggs MSP, the party's spokesperson for social justice, housing and equalities, blamed the "brutal underfunding of Scotland's councils".

He said: "It should be a source of shame for the SNP-Green government that at least close to 40,000 disabled Scots are languishing on social housing waiting lists."

He went on: "Scotland is in the grip of a housing emergency because the SNP have failed to meet their own housebuilding targets and starved local councils of essential funding to tackle the growing problem of homelessness.

"We need urgent action from the SNP government before this crisis deepens, starting with them declaring a national housing emergency."

Housing minister Paul McLennan said his administration "has led the way in housing" and delivered 126,000 affordable homes since 2007, including more than 89,000 for social rent. Of these, 24,000 were council houses.

He said Brexit had driven up construction costs and the UK Government had " failed to inflation-proof their capital budget and this has resulted in nearly a 10 per cent real-terms cut in our UK capital funding between 2023-24 and 2027-28".

He said investment of £556m in affordable housing will be made in 2024-25, adding: "We remain focused on delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 and to support that we will bring forward the review scheduled for 2026-27 to 2024, which will concentrate on deliverability.

"We are working with the financial community in Scotland, and elsewhere, to boost private sector investment and help deliver more homes."

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