THE SCOTTISH Government has been accused of “presiding over a national housing crisis” amid figures showing almost 47,000 people are homeless and 330,000 Scots are stuck on social housing waiting lists.

Conservative MSPs will use two Holyrood debates today to point the blame at SNP and Greens ministers – highlighting the thousands of Scots facing homelessness and waiting for social housing.

In the first debate, the party will highlight Scottish Government figures showing there are almost 47,000 homeless people in Scotland and 21,000 households in temporary accommodation, as well as the Tories’ own research highlighting that 330,000 Scots are on social housing waiting lists.

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The party’s housing spokesperson, Miles Briggs, has raised concerns that almost one third of homeless Scots and those on waiting lists are children, while other vulnerable groups such as disabled people and service veterans are also badly affected by homelessness.

The second debate will focus on the Scottish Government’s progress in meeting a target to build 50,000 affordable homes on time while £170m has been cut from the housing budget for 2023/24.

Mr Briggs, will today call on the Scottish Government’s Housing Secretary, Shona Robison, to acknowledge the scale of the problem by declaring a housing emergency – as Shelter has called for – and outline immediate plans to tackle homelessness and accelerate homebuilding to meet demand and reduce waiting lists for social homes.

Mr Briggs said: “It’s no exaggeration to say the SNP Government is presiding over a national housing crisis.

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“While much of the media attention lately has focused, understandably, on ministers’ abject failures in health and education, the housing emergency has gone under the radar. But it’s very real – and demands urgent government action.

“It’s completely unacceptable that there are 47,000 people currently registered as homeless, and a third of a million Scots on social housing waiting lists, including close to 100,000 children and more than 24,000 disabled people.

“There are also more than 600 armed-service veterans registered as homeless, something which should embarrass us as a nation.”

He added: “The buck stops with Nicola Sturgeon’s government for this crisis. They have failed to meet their own housebuilding targets and there’s little hope of the situation improving when John Swinney’s most recent budget outlined a swingeing £170m cut in the housing budget – and that’s in cash, not real, terms.

“On top of that, we’ve had the SNP-Green rent freeze and eviction ban, which has been counter-productive and damaging for tenants – as we warned it would be – by reducing private rental stock and leading to housing developments being paused or shelved.

“It all adds up to a perfect storm – and it cannot be allowed to continue.

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“Shona Robison should admit there’s a national housing emergency – as Shelter have described it – on the SNP’s watch and spell out how she intends to belatedly get a grip of it. Her first step should be persuading John Swinney to reverse his devastating cuts to the housing budget.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland has led the way in delivering affordable housing across the UK and has some of the strongest homelessness legislation in the world.

"The number of households in temporary accommodation is too high and we are firmly committed to reducing it.

"Local authorities are making encouraging progress with the implementation of their Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans and the Housing Secretary has commissioned an action plan from experts in the sector to reduce the numbers of people and time spend in temporary accommodation.

“Our £752 million 2023-24 budget will be supplemented by contributions from the Heat in Buildings Fund and Charitable Bond Programme donations directed towards investment in social rented homes.

"We remain committed to making over £3.5 billion available for affordable housing over the current parliamentary session as part of our ambitious plans to deliver 110,000 affordable homes by 2032.”