Media Release: Housing charity welcomes release of ‘real figures’ on waiting lists

HOUSING charity, Shelter Scotland, welcomed the clarification of statistics on housing waiting lists released by the Scottish Government, which revealed the true figure of over 156,000 households across Scotland on waiting lists for a home – not the 123,000 figure released last week.

Says a spokesperson: “The 123,000 figure released last week as part of the government’s annual homelessness statistics, was immediately questioned by Shelter Scotland after it spotted discrepancies in the way the number of households on local authority waiting lists had been calculated.

“The correct figure of 156,200 households was issued this week by the Scottish Government – therefore showing a three per cent reduction in the number of households on waiting lists – not the 23 per cent reduction initially reported.”

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: 

“We welcome the clarification of these statistics and the three per cent reduction in the number of households on waiting lists.

“These statistics are an important indicator of Scotland’s housing and homelessness situation and while there’s been a slight decrease they still show us that too many households are waiting for a home they can call their own.

“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.

“The lack of a significant reduction in the number of households on waiting lists reaffirms the need for Shelter Scotland’s ‘End the Wait’ campaign which calls on the Scottish Government to deliver a big increase in the number of much-needed council and housing association homes.

“We call on the Scottish Government to make housing a national priority, build thousands more socially-rented houses and end the wait for tens of thousands of households.”

The spokesperson continued: “The discrepancy in the statistics arose due to the way in which figures for waiting lists and transfers were reported – which was different to the previous year.

“The waiting list figures appeared to have reduced from 160,700 (2009/10) to 123,700 (2010/11).

“However, this reduction was due to some local authorities reporting a total figure for the number of households on the waiting lists and on transfer lists. In previous years these figures were always reported separately.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. Shelter Scotland provides expert support services, online advice and a free national helpline for everyone facing housing and homelessness difficulties. For advice and support visit or call 0808 800 4444.
  2. Spokespeople are available for interview – call the media office on 0844 515 2442.
  3. Follow Shelter Scotland on Facebook – Twitter –

Shelter Scotland believes everyone should have a home. We help people find and keep a home. We campaign for decent housing for all.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Shelter Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Sabina Kadic-Mackenzie
Phone: 0844 515 2442