A Fife dad says he'll have to wait for more than 14 YEARS to get a Fife Council house.

He was told it could be more than 5,000 days before people on the Fife Housing Register, who have zero points and are classed as 'no immediate need', get an offer of a home.

The single parent, who wants to remain anonymous, said 1,893 people fall into this category: "This includes people like me, who has a young daughter, has health issues and who recently applied to the housing register after a separation from my partner.

"Since we live in a private rented house, despite the relationship breaking down and the house being unaffordable for one person, turns out I'll only need to wait until I'm almost 60 to get a council house!"

He added: "The longest wait is actually 5,386 days – yes that's more than 14 YEARS!

"The real story is for single parents, those going through separation or divorce, and young people starting out who will likely never see their place come round.

"The system is completely not fit for purpose anymore."

Every year more people apply for a council house than the local authority have available to rent and applicants are then placed on a waiting list, the Fife Housing Register.

Preference is given to people who, for example, are facing homelessness, fleeing an abusive relationship or need to move to take care of a loved one.

The dad said he has no problem with priority cases getting a home first but said the waiting time for everyone else was far too long.

After submitting a freedom of information request to Fife Council in the summer, he was told there were 16,127 people on the register as of July 2 who were waiting on an offer of a council house, with 1,893 people (11.7 per cent) having zero points.

He asked what was "the longest wait time in days" for someone on the list who was classed as 'no immediate need' and the answer was 5,386 days.

The dad continued: "The 1,893 people on the housing list with zero points should have the same right to housing as everyone else in front of us.

"It's clear to me that the housing system in Scotland is completely unfit for purpose.

"It seems councils are only satisfied with 'almost' providing enough houses for those at the top of the list, rightly prioritising those who are genuinely homeless.

"But it's clear the system cannot cope with the vast majority of Scotland's population who may well be suffering greater inequality and poverty by being forced to go to private landlords to find somewhere to live."

He concluded: "Accessible and affordable housing policy is urgently needed in Fife and Scotland. At the minute we're not even scratching the surface."

Service manager for the council, Gavin Smith, commented: "We work together with our partners to make sure the Fife Housing Register provides those most in need with a home as quickly as possible.

"Anyone over 16 is entitled to register their need for housing.

"As much as we would love to be able to provide a home for everyone who needs one, we have to allocate housing on a priority basis and make the best use of the housing stock available to us.

"Together with our partners we work with people to provide advice on their housing options to help them make their own choices.

"The length of time someone may have to wait for a council house is complicated and depends on a number of things including their own personal circumstances, their needs, their preferences and the availability of properties within their preferred areas.

"Some parts of Fife are in higher demand than others and there can also be higher demand for certain types of properties.

"These can be major factors in the length of time that people may wait."