Fife is the latest council to report increased pressure on housing services

Fife Council has become the fourth local authority in Scotland since last summer to declare a housing emergency.

The local authority said that it is facing “unprecedented pressure on housing and homelessness services”


Dunfermline, in Fife

Fife said the Scottish government has cut its affordable housing programme funding by 26%, while it did not receive any of the £2m funding available for temporary accommodation previously announced by the government.

The decision by Fife to call an emergency follows similar announcements by Argyll & Bute, Edinburgh and Glasgow councils in the past few months.

More announcements from councils had been expected since the Scottish government cut funding for affordable housing delivery by £196m in its budget in December.

The Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland also declared a housing emergency in the country at its two-day Housing Festival event in Glasgow last month.

Callum Chomczuk, national director at CIH Scotland, said: “We want to see the affordable housing budget front loaded so social landlords can keep building, as it is always going to cheaper to build today than it is tomorrow.

“The Scottish budget last week fell far short of what the sector has been asking for, but it is never too late to invest in people, invest in communities and invest in social housing. We need an emergency plan and funding for delivering the social homes Scotland needs.”

In England, Crawley Council also declared a housing emergency last month.

Declaring a housing emergency is increasingly being used by councils to draw attention to their situation and help them seek action from the government.

Paul McLennan, housing minister said: “Fife has benefited in 2023-24 from a core allocation of nearly £35 million and an additional £7 million in-year boost.

“I regularly engage with Fife Council to find solutions to the housing pressures they are facing, including making sure they work with the Empty Homes Partnership to bring more empty properties back into use to increase housing stock.

“The UK Government failed to inflation-proof their capital budget and this has resulted in nearly a 10% real terms cut in our UK capital funding between 2023-24 and 2027-28”.

McLennan said the Scottish government is focused on delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 and has brought forward a review of deliverability from 2026 to 2024.