More than 1200 Scots have been waiting more than 10 years on housing waiting lists as the numbers have shot up in the space of one year.

New analysis of official household survey data indicates that over one in 10 (11%) of the 110,000 Scots households on waiting lists in 2021 have been waiting over a decade. In 2020 it was 6%.

It further reveals that over one in three (37%) have been waiting over three years and just over one in five (21%) have been hanging on for over six years.

It comes as it emerged the number of affordable homes being approved for build has slumped to the lowest level for eight years amidst cuts to the Scottish Government's affordable housing supply budget.

Housing campaigners say that the new figures, commissioned for the Scottish Government reflect a failure to tackle what is seen as Scotland's housing emergency.

 READ MORE: Ministers refuse to act over 'scandalous' £33m Scots homeless debt

In September, 2021, the then First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her Programme for Government pledged investment of almost £3.5bn in the parliamentary term to progress a "commitment" to an additional 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland. She said that at least 70% of those would be for social rent and that the investment will support up to 15,000 jobs.

The Herald: Nicola Sturgeon is now on the backbenches in Holyrood following her resignation as first minister (PA)

She said they would be building on the investment in housing over the last parliament, to "further improve the availability of good quality, affordable, energy-efficient homes".

Aditi Jehangir, secretary for the national tenant's group Living Rent said: "It could not be more clear - the government needs to build social housing.

"It is appalling that successive governments have allowed our available social housing stock to dwindle to the point that the number of people forced to wait a decade has doubled.

"Despite the problem getting worse, this year the government has poured fuel on the fire by cutting the budget to build more social homes."

🔴 Save on a full year of digital access with our lowest EVER offer.

Subscribe for the whole year to The Herald for only £24 for unlimited website access or £30 for our digital pack.

This is only available for a limited time so don't miss out.

👉 Click here to subscribe

"Being in the limbo of waiting for housing for just one year is uncertain and hard. To be forced to wait for ten years for a home is catastrophic.

"The government needs to build more social homes to allow the thousands of waiting tenants access to an affordable, safe, secure home."

When people apply for housing they are added to a waiting list that prioritises those who have urgent needs. Each council and housing association has its own rules on how priorities are decided and is usually set using either a points or banding system. Those that get a reasonable level of priority include if homeless or threatened with it, if a current home is overcrowded and if accommodation is unsuitable to live in.

Housing charity Shelter Scotland, which has been calling for a dedicated housing minister has said that the Scottish Government needs to deliver 38,500 social homes by 2026.

The Herald: Library image of social housing

It has warned that failure to deliver these homes will result in growing affordable housing need, a continued over-reliance on temporary accommodation and "further misery" for communities suffering the consequences of Scotland’s broken housing system.

Shelter Scotland director Alison Watson, said: “Long housing lists and long waits for those on them are obvious symptoms of Scotland’s broken housing system.

“The underlying causes here are not a mystery; decades of under investment in social housing has created a housing emergency and people are suffering as a result.

“The only viable long-term solution is to address the mistakes of the past by committing to invest in social housing.

The Herald:

“The new First Minister has made clear that tackling poverty is at the top of his agenda.

“If he’s to have any hope of achieving that aim then it’s absolutely vital that his government delivers the social homes Scotland desperately needs.”

Professional standards body the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has previously raised concerns over £177m cuts to the More Homes budget and warned progress on homelessness is at risk without a funding commitment over rapid rehousing in permanent homes rather than in temporary accommodation.

The More Homes budget includes the cost of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme, as well as funding used for shared equity and loans programmes including an Open Market Shared Equity scheme and mid-market rent (MMR) projects.

The Scottish Government says that the Affordable Housing Supply Programme budget will be cut from £831.945m in 2022/23 to £751.945m in the next financial year.

Some 6,554 homes were given the nod for grant funding in 2022 as part of the Affordable Housing Supply Programme - 35% down on the pandemic year of 2020 and 22% down on last year when 8414 were approved.

In 2018 there were almost double the number of approvals, with 12,478 getting the nod.

The number of completed homes, however, is at its highest since 2010. The 9727 homes delivered in 2022, is 111 more than in 2021.

That came after 9,757 affordable homes were delivered in 2021/22 – the highest figure in a single financial year since 2000/01.

The Scottish Government met a target of building 50,000 affordable homes in March, last year - but it was a year later than expected.

The original timescale of delivery by March 2021 was affected by “significant challenges” presented by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Scotland has led the way in delivering affordable housing across the UK, with more than 118,000 homes delivered since 2007. We are committed to delivering on our target of 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70% will be available for social rent and 10% will be in our remote, rural and island communities.

“The majority of people on a housing list reported through the Scottish Household Survey are already in a property and are looking to move to a different type of property or to a different area, rather than being faced with homelessness..”