NEW figures show almost 40,000 disabled Scots are waiting for social housing, as the Scottish Government blamed Westminster and Brexit for the delays.

The data, released under freedom of information legislation, found that 39,875 people with disabilities are waiting for either a council or housing association property, 1569 of whom are disabled children.

This data includes information from 27 of Scotland’s 32 councils, as the remaining five councils responded that they did not hold the relevant data.

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This means that the actual number of disabled people waiting for social housing is likely to be higher.

The Scottish Government’s Housing Minister, Paul McLennan (below) said that the UK Government’s failure “to inflation-proof their capital budget” resulted in “nearly a 10% real-terms cut in [the Scottish Government’s] UK capital funding between 2023/23 and 2027/28”.

The National: MSP Paul McLennan

He added that Brexit had a “disastrous” impact on construction supply chain issues and labour shortages, which has only been made worse by “the inflationary pressures driven by UK Government financial mismanagement”.

McLennan continued: “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 £556 million in affordable housing in 2024/25, the majority of which will be for social rent.”

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He added that the Scottish Government “remained focused” on its commitment to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, and that the review scheduled for 2026/27 would now be brought forward to this year to concentrate on the “deliverability” of the pledge.

McLennan said the Scottish Government was “deeply concerned” by the UK Government’s proposals to change work capability assessments, which he said could “reduce vital financial support for the most vulnerable in our society”.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Conservatives have blamed a lack of funding for councils and a reduction in the housing budget for the waiting lists.

Miles Briggs (below), the party’s social justice, housing and equalities spokesperson, said the latest figures show “vulnerable disabled people have been abandoned by the SNP”.

The National: Miles BriggsHe 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.

“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.”

Briggs also challenged ministers to declare a national housing emergency.