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National Indicator: Housing Need

up Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need

Indicator Measure
Percentage of homeless households that are entitled to settled accommodation

Current Status
95.7% of homeless households were entitled to settled accommodation in 2012-13, compared to 91.0% in 2011-12 and 87.8% in 2010-11.

Housing need chart

Source: Scottish Government, Operation of the Homeless Persons Legislation in Scotland
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 19 July 2013
Next Update: July 2016

Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives

Why is this National Indicator important?

A fair society with strong, resilient communities meets the needs of all its citizens including the most vulnerable. Those without settled accommodation are less able to contribute to the economy and to access opportunities for employment or training. They are also more likely to suffer poor health.

What will influence this National Indicator?

There are a number of key influencing factors. These include:

  • Effectiveness of councils', and others', prevention activity
  • Supply of suitable affordable housing in the right locations
  • Flexibility to offer tenure solutions tailored to needs of homeless applicants and people in housing need
  • Ability of all social landlords - councils and housing associations - to contribute suitable lets
  • Provision of ongoing housing and wider support to help the most vulnerable stay in settled accommodation

What is the Government's role?

Under the Housing (Scotland) Act, the Government has the responsibility to assess, by 2012, whether councils have the capacity to provide settled accommodation for the unintentionally homeless who need it. We help councils to achieve this capacity by:

  • Monitoring and reviewing the operation of the homelessness system through regular statistical data collections and focused research
  • Monitoring activity around prevention of homelessness
  • Facilitating sharing of practice and learning
  • Developing and updating statutory guidance on operational aspects of homelessness legislation
  • Ensuring that guidance on housing planning, including local housing strategies, reflects the needs of homeless households
  • Enacting secondary legislation mainly on the duties and powers of local authorities
  • Providing new affordable housing through the development programme

How is Scotland performing?

The indicator ‘to improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need is measured by the proportion assessed as priority. After a substantial increase between 2000/01 to 2001/02 the percentage of homeless households assessed as priority increased by 4 percentage points between 2001/02 and 2006/07 to reach 76.7%. Progress has been more marked since 2006-07. The indicator increased by an average 2.8 percentage points per year from 2006-07 to reach 91.0% in 2011-12. There has been an increase of 4.7 percentage points over the last year as a consequence of the priority need test being abolished from 31st December 2012. 

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

The measurement which underpins this indicator is the percentage of homeless households who are assessed as priority and, as a consequence, have the right to settled accommodation. The Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003, among other things, set the objective that by 31 December 2012 all unintentionally homeless households would be entitled to settled accommodation.

On 21 November 2012, the Scottish Parliament approved the Homelessness (Abolition of Priority Need Test) (Scotland) Order 2012. This legislation ensures that from 31 December 2012 all unintentionally homeless households will be treated equally. All are now entitled to settled accommodation.

The tables in the data download below show the different rates at which local authorities have moved towards the - now achieved - target. The homelessness legislation specified a number of groups given priority and hence entitled to settled accommodation because of particular characteristics such as the household having children or members of the household being vulnerable because of young or old age. Councils then moved towards the 2012 target by giving priority according to local policy.

Over the period higher proportions of younger and older households have been assessed as priority with the lowest proportions in the 20-59 year old age group. These distinctions are clearest in those households without children.

Women were more likely to be assessed as priority (98% compared with 94% for men in 2012-13). This difference is not explained by the fact that higher proportions of homeless households headed by women were households with children. There was also a large difference for households without children - 96% priority for women in 2012-13 compared with 93% for men.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 1 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 1 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening.

Further Information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities

Health providers

Housing Associations (Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Glasgow West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations)

The Scottish Housing Regulator

Voluntary sector

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer

Healthier

Safer and Stronger

View National indicator Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need
Description:Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need
File:Improve access to suitable housing options for those in housing need [XLS, 69.1 kb: 14 Mar 2016]
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