13,000 'Wait 10 Years For Home'

3 July 2014, 06:17 | Updated: 3 July 2014, 06:18

More than 13,000 people have been on a council waiting list for a home for 10 years or more, figures have revealed.

The Liberal Democrats said families and individuals were being forced to put "their life on hold for over a decade whilst they wait''.

Using Freedom of Information laws, the party learned that of the 170,351 people on local authority waiting lists for social housing, 33,334 had been on the list for at least five years, with 13,021 on it for a decade or more.

The figures come from data provided to the Liberal Democrats by 22 of Scotland's 32 local authorities.

Liberal Democrat housing spokesman Jim Hume demanded action from the Scottish Government, saying: "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.''

He said the Liberal Democrats had backed legislation recently passed by Holyrood that will end the right-to-buy for council and housing association tenants.

The Scottish Government scrapped the policy, which had been introduced by Margaret Thatcher's government, in a bid to boost the number of homes available in the social rental sector.

While the legislation has been passed, tenants still have two years within which they can apply to buy their property.

Mr Hume said: "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.''