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70,000 children on housing waiting lists

Published: 5 October 2020

70,000 children on housing waiting lists

An estimated 70,000 children in Scotland are waiting for social homes, the equivalent of 20 children in every school, according to new analysis that we have published to mark the launch of our new campaign.

The analysis shows that 1 in 14 (50,000) school-age children – and 1 in 13 (70,000) children overall – are currently on social housing waiting lists.

#BuildScotlandsFuture is our largest-ever campaign and calls for at least 37,100 social homes to be built over the course of the next parliament, which will reduce Scotland’s existing and emerging housing need.

Support for social housebuilding is high among Scottish voters. According to new Shelter Scotland/YouGov polling published today [21 August 2020]:

  • More than 6 in 10 (63%) Scottish adults believe that Scottish political parties should prioritise building social homes, while just 1 in 5 (21%) believe they should prioritise ensuring more people can buy homes.
  • More than half (55%) of Scottish adults believe that the next Scottish government should build more social homes than the current government will have built by the end of this term, while just 4% believe they should build fewer.
  • When respondents were presented with the number of Scottish schoolchildren on waiting lists, support for social housebuilding went up on both measures, with 68% saying the government should prioritise social housebuilding over home ownership, and 65% saying the next government should build more social homes.

Supporters can sign a petition calling on candidates to #BuildScotlandsFuture by committing to delivering the 37,100 social rented homes that Scotland needs.

Our Director Alison Watson said:

“It’s not right that tens of thousands of children don’t have the security of a safe, affordable home. It’s time to build a better future for these families.

“We know that delivering more social homes will support economic growth, create jobs and help Scotland to meet its climate targets. It will also strengthen our communities – reducing poverty and inequality, improving people’s health and tackling the root cause of homelessness.

“That’s why thousands of our campaigners will be calling on candidates in the 2021 election to put social housebuilding at the heart of Scotland’s recovery plan. Let’s build Scotland’s future.”


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