Reported by Scottish Housing News – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.
The Scottish Government has been urged to set a target for new disabled housing after research found that the number of disabled people on housing waiting lists has risen by almost 80% in the last two years.
Figures obtained by freedom of information requests from 23 of the country’s 32 local councils revealed that there are now 17,444 people waiting to move to a more suitable house, compared to 9,714 at the end of 2017.
In some areas the average wait for a home is more than 1,000 days, while in some cases people have been waiting for more than a decade for the right accommodation.
The average wait for an appropriate home ranges from four days in West Dunbartonshire to 6,193 days in Edinburgh.
Housing and disability charities said the statistics underlined the need for a target to be set by the Scottish Government on the building of accessible homes.
Ian Buchanan, a Disability Equality Scotland manager, said: “I am not surprised by these numbers because there is a chronic lack of accessible housing in Scotland – and across the UK. There is no actual official target for accessible housing and that’s a problem. While it’s all well and good to build 50,000 new homes, there needs to be a firm commitment from the government to say how many accessible homes they will build.”
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “We are living with the consequences of decades of under-investment in affordable social housing and people with disabilities are among those bearing the brunt.”
He said new social housing had to include “a greater emphasis on accessibility and adaptability so people can find a home that suits their needs.”
Michelle Ballantyne, social security spokesperson for the Scottish Conservatives, which obtained the statistics, added: “The SNP pretends to be sincere when it comes to helping people with disabilities.