The number of council house new builds started in the year up to September has dropped by 50%, figures show.
Statistics published by the Scottish Government on Tuesday show just 1,157 new council houses started last year, compared to 2,301 the previous year.
The number of council houses completed also dropped by 44%, from 2,833 to 1,592.
Housing associations were also impacted in the past year, with the number of homes started falling by 34% from 3,234 to 2,135 while the number of completions increased in the year up to September by 377 homes.
Overall, the number of starts across all sectors dropped by 24%, while the number of completions fell by 6%, the figures showed.
But despite the poor figures, the Scottish Government has lauded the highest number of completed affordable homes since at least 2010.
According to the figures, 10,582 affordable homes were finished in the year up to September 2023.
However, in the same year, the number of starts decreased by almost a quarter, falling from 8,298 to 6,302.
Housing minister Paul McLennan said: “I am pleased that the number of affordable homes completed in the latest year is the highest annual figure since 2000, supporting just over 10,500 households to have an affordable place to live.
“The combined challenges caused by a hard Brexit and economic mismanagement by the UK Government have triggered various issues including the rising cost of construction supplies and workforce challenges.
“This has undoubtedly impacted on the number of new build homes started over the last year.
“Despite these challenges, the housing sector has done incredible work to deliver homes and we will continue working with partners to mitigate these impacts.
“We are also making £3.5 billion available in this parliamentary term, towards the delivery of more affordable and social homes.
“Despite the challenges facing the housing sector, we have already delivered 15,765 homes towards our next target of 110,000 affordable homes in Scotland by 2032.”
The figures come after the Scottish Government resisted efforts by Scottish Labour to declare a housing emergency, following in the footsteps of Argyll and Bute, and Edinburgh City councils.
Scottish Labour housing spokesperson Mark Griffin said: “The SNP’s shameful record on housebuilding will choke Scotland’s housing supply for years to come.
“We are facing record levels of housing need, but the SNP and the Greens would rather bury their head in the sand than admit that they are facing a crisis.
“The SNP must get a grip on these woeful housing figures before they spiral any further.”
Scottish Tory housing spokesman Miles Briggs said: “The number of people who are either homeless or living in temporary accommodation are both at record levels, meaning there is an ever-growing need for more homes to be built.
“Under the SNP-Green Government, the number of new homes being built has plummeted to its lowest levels in nearly a decade and we know that Scotland’s forgotten rural communities often bear the brunt of these failures.”
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