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Homelessness - Applications, assessments and temporary accommodation

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend

Applications, assessments and households in temporary accommodation

Updated: October 2015

There were 35,800 homelessness applications during 2014-15. This is the lowest figure seen since its peak value in 2005-6, when around 61,000 homelessness applications were made. This marked reduction of 41% in homelessness applications since that peak is likely to be the result of Housing Options[1] work being undertaken by Local Authorities in Scotland.

Over the past few years, Local Authorities have been developing services where staff assist households to consider a range of options available to address their housing needs. As a consequence, some of the households who might previously have made a homelessness application may now have their housing needs met without first becoming homeless or being threatened with homelessness. Further information on the development of Housing Options services in Scottish Local Authorities is available at Homelessness Prevention.

In addition to the fall in applications in 2014-15, the number assessed as homeless, or likely to become homeless within two months, also fell by 2% to around 29,600 compared to the previous year. 

The Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 set the objective that by 31 December 2012, all homeless applicants would be entitled to settled accommodation. This objective is generally referred to as the 2012 homelessness commitment. All unintentionally homeless households are now entitled to settled accommodation.

The chart below shows the total number of homelessness applications over time since 1992-93. It also shows the number of those that were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness, and the number of those that were also assessed as in priority need up until the Priority Need test was abolished in December 2012.

[1] The latest publications on homelessness and Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics are available online at:

http://www.gov.scot/homelessstats

Homeless2015

Source:  Scottish Government Communities Analytical Services (Housing Access and Support Statistics)

View chart data

Applications, assessments and households in temporary accommodation

Temporary accommodation

After a marked and consistent increase in the number of households in temporary accommodation – from 4,153 at 31 March 2002 to 11,254 at 31 March 2011 - the number of households in temporary accommodation in 2015 has reduced to 10,488 at 31 March 2015. However, this is an increase of 207 households (+2%) compared with one year earlier.

Beneath this national reduction, a different picture emerges. Over the last year, the number of households in temporary accommodation increased in 12 out of 32 Local Authorities. Notable increases have been seen in Highland (+37%), Aberdeen City (+26%), East Renfrewshire (+22%), Shetland (+17%), Falkirk (+16%) and East Lothian (+15%).

temp2015

Source:  Scottish Government Communities Analytical Services (Housing Access and Support Statistics)

The number of households in temporary accommodation depends on a number of factors including:

  • The availability of settled accommodation in a Local Authority area;

  • The propensity of households to require Local Authority temporary accommodation. Some homeless households may make their own arrangements and stay with family or friends.

View chart data

Further Information

 More information can be obtained from the Homelessness Statistics webpage.