13,000 households have waited a decade for social housing

Scottish Liberal Democrats have called on the Scottish Government to address Scotland’s housing figures after they revealed over 13,000 households have been waiting over a decade for social housing.

Figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats using freedom of information laws found that over a fifth of those on local authority housing lists had been waiting over five years for a home. The figures put further pressure on the SNP Government to recommit to its pledge to build 6,000 homes for social rent.

Scottish Liberal Democrats have consistently urged the Scottish Government to address Scotland’s falling social rented housing stock. The number of homes for social rent has plummeted by 11,000 properties since the SNP came into office. The SNP Government previously reneged on its pledge to build more homes for social rent, focussing instead on affordable homes.

Commenting on the new figures, Scottish Liberal Democrat housing spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

“Since the SNP reneged on its promises to build more homes for social rent, Scotland’s housing crisis has worsened. I have obtained figures which show over 33,000 households have been stuck on local authority waiting lists for social housing for over five years. Around 13,000 households have been waiting for over a decade.

“Affordable housing or even private renting isn’t an option open to every household in every part of Scotland. Scottish Liberal Democrats supported the closure of the right to buy scheme as a way of rebalancing Scotland’s housing stock. But with two years until that comes into effect the Scottish Government can’t afford to sit back and wait for this problem to fix itself.

“Families and individuals across Scotland are putting their life on hold for over a decade whilst they wait for a home. Some might be waiting to move into their first home, others might be waiting for a place that better suits their needs. Regardless of their reason for being on housing waiting lists, they are all in limbo until they get the chance they need to put down roots and get on in life.

“If we are to build the fairer society that the majority of people wish to see, the Scottish Government must heed the calls of Scottish Liberal Democrats and charities like Shelter and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.”

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