Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Scottish government publishes wrong housing figures

The Scottish government has corrected its council waiting list figures after omitting 33,000 people.

The numbers released on 30 August said 123,000 people in Scotland were on council waiting lists for a home on 31 March 2011 but that was corrected to 156,200 yesterday.

The new figures show a 3 per cent reduction in households on waiting lists rather than the 23 per cent drop initially reported.

Charity Shelter Scotland welcomed the revision and the fall in homelessness, but said too many households were still waiting for a home. The organisation’s director, Graeme Brown, said: ‘The housing crisis in Scotland is not going away. 156,200 households across Scotland have been waiting for months and in many cases years for a permanent home they can call their own. They can’t afford to wait any longer.’ He urged the Scottish government to deliver a big increase in the number of council and housing association homes.

The discrepancy arose after a change in the way figures for waiting lists and transfers were reported.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said the total number of households on the transfer and waiting lists was accurate but the split between the two lists had not been until it was corrected. He said: ‘Since the publication it was noted that, while the total number of households on housing lists was accurate, the split between waiting lists and transfer lists has been handled inconsistently from previous years. 

 ‘This split has now been amended to reflect similar practice in previous years resulting in an increase in the estimate for the waiting list and a similar decrease in the estimate for the transfer list.’

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