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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Housing crisis just got worse: figures reveal almost 40,000 disabled on waiting lists

 

Claims vulnerable disabled people have been abandoned by Scottish Government

Figures from 27 of Scotland’s 32 councils show 39,875 people with disabilities are waiting for either a council or housing association property.

That includes 1,569 disabled children.

The statistics have been slammed by housing and disability camapigners as well as politicians.

Five councils said they do not hold data, so the true total of disabled people waiting for either a council or housing association home could be even higher.

Matt Downie, chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said: “Everyone should have a safe, secure place to live, yet as these figures show, a lack of social housing is leaving tens of thousands of people trapped on waiting lists and unable to move on with their lives.

“Numbers in the homelessness system are now at their highest since records began - it doesn’t need to be this way.

“By investing in the number of new social homes we need, the Scottish Government can help people move off waiting lists and into safe, secure housing.

“Doing that, and giving councils the money needed to support people in their home, would take pressure off the system and avoid more households experiencing the trauma and indignity of homelessness.”

A freedom of information request by the Scottish Consrvatives revealed the figures.

Tory social justice, housing and equalities spokesman Miles Briggs said the waiting lists are the result of reductions in the housing budget and the “brutal underfunding of Scotland’s councils” by the Scottish Government.

Briggs said: “These figures are an absolute disgrace and wholly unacceptable.

“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.

“Vulnerable disabled people have been abandoned by the SNP, including more than 1,500 who are under 18.

“These appalling figures are the product of SNP cuts to the housing budget and their brutal underfunding of Scotland’s councils.

“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 responsed by saying: “The Scottish Government has led the UK in housing by delivering more than 126,000 affordable homes since 2007, over 89,000 of which were for social rent, including almost 24,000 council homes.

“We will invest £556m in affordable housing in 2024/25, the majority of which will be for social rent.

“The UK government failed to inflation-proof their capital budget, and this has resulted in nearly a 10% real-terms cut in our UK capital funding between 2023/24 and 2027/28.

"This is on top of the disastrous impact Brexit has had on construction supply chain issues, labour shortages and the inflationary pressures driven by UK government financial mismanagement.

“Additionally, we remain deeply concerned by the UK government’s proposals to change work capability assessments which could reduce vital financial support for the most vulnerable in our society.

“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.”

 

Comments

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Living In A Box
about 2 months ago

Priority housing lists are out of control . The competition for disabled suitable housing is only becoming more competitive not less . Many factors influence this . SNP must focus on the vulnerable in our society and not voter satisfaction .