The deputy leader of Scottish Labour has described affordable housing in Scotland as 'on a cliff edge' after figures showed the number of new homes being built has collapsed. 

Dumbarton's MSP Jackie Baillie slammed the Scottish Government for their 'supreme failure' after the number of affordable houses starting construction plummeted by 42 per cent in 2023, compared to March 2020. 

Ms Baillie says her office has been inundated with calls and emails on a regular basis, with people requiring a move to a different property due to a change in their circumstances. 

Ms Baillie said: "These shocking figures come at a time of crisis for many Scots and signal a supreme failure from the Scottish Government.

“When so many people are struggling to keep afloat, maintaining our affordable housing provision is even more vital than ever.

"Every day, my office is dealing with people who are struggling because they desperately need a move due to a change in their housing needs.

"The reality is there are not enough affordable homes now and these figures show that this will only get worse.

“Instead, this programme has been left dangling off a cliff edge by the SNP as target after target is missed.

“Scottish Labour are intent on ensuring everyone has a home they can be proud of by improving our housing supply, building more homes and making better use of the housing stock we have.”

In the last year alone, affordable housing starts decreased by a startling 15 per cent.

The number of affordable housing approvals - where the planning for new homes is given the green light to go ahead - has also decreased by a whopping 50 per cent since 2020 and 18 per cent in the past year.

This double whammy means fewer houses are being started and even fewer are being approved for completion.

However, the Scottish Government defended their record since coming into office in 2006.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: "Scotland has led the UK in the delivery of affordable housing with 122,201 affordable homes delivered since 2007, with 86,240 of these for social rent.

"We are pleased that the number of affordable homes completed in the latest year to end March 2023 is the highest annual figure since the statistical series began in 2000.

"Looking across the housing sector, total all-sector new housebuilding completions are also at their highest annual level to end March since 2008.

"We are aware that global issues such as rising costs of construction supplies, workforce issues, Covid-19 and the UK Government's decision on Brexit are significantly impacting the pace of delivery of affordable housing.

"We are working closely with partners to mitigate these issues where possible and continue to collaborate to achieve our shared goal of delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032, of which at least 70 per cent will be available for social rent and 10 per cent in remote, rural and island communities."