SNP ministers have been told to act after it was revealed that almost 40,000 disabled Scots are stuck on social housing waiting lists.

Freedom of Information requests from the Scottish Conservatives to Scotland’s 32 local council authorities have revealed that, based on the 27 authorities who responded, 39,875 people with disabilities are currently waiting to be housed.

Of the 39,875 revealed, 1,569 are disabled children under the age of 18.

The true total across Scotland is likely to be even higher, as five councils said they did not hold the relevant data.

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Scottish Conservative shadow cabinet secretary for social justice, housing and equalities, Miles 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 1500 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.”

The Scottish Government cut the housing and building standards budget by more than £200 million in cash terms.

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In the 2023-24 financial year, £738.8 million was allocated to the budget by SNP ministers, but that will be reduced to just £533.2 million in the next financial year.

Statistics also show that the number of affordable homes starting construction has decreased by 24%.

Matt Downie, chief executive of 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.”

SNP Housing Minister, Paul McLennan, said: “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.

“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."

He added: “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.”