Construction union Ucatt warned today that massive investment in social homes is needed to turn around the crisis in both Scottish housing and the economy.
The latest figures reported that the total number of completed new-builds in Scotland stood at 15,900 in the year to March 31, 2012.
This represents a significant drop from 2007-8 when new-builds peaked at 25,788, as well as a fall of 38 per cent during the last four years.
Ucatt secretary Harry Frew told the Morning Star: "The continuing fall in social housebuilding is a national crisis.
"We need a massive investment into social housing to kick-start the economy.
"We have seen thousands of redundancies in construction - only last week Brown Construction in Dundee closed with the loss of 130 jobs."
Housing Minister Keith Brown said he was "encouraged" with a 23 per cent increase in the number of private sector houses started in the last year, following four years of decline.
10,732 new private homes were started in Scotland in the year to March 31, 2012, compared to 8,731 made in the previous year. Brown acknowledged that "these remain very challenging times for the house building industry."
He said: "We plan to deliver at least 30,000 affordable homes during the lifetime of the Parliament, backed by investment of at least £730 million in the next three years.
"We have allocated almost £115 million to local authorities across Scotland, which will help deliver a new generation of over 4,400 council homes."
But Mr Frew retorted: "Look at the number of people sitting on waiting lists for social housing. The Scottish government says it's got 30,000 houses in the programme - but the reality isn't going to be anywhere near matching what is needed."