Homelessness and Housing Options statistics published

A National and Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Homelessness applications and the number assessed as homeless or likely to become homeless within two months both reduced during 2015/16. However, the number of children in temporary accommodation continues to increase.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released the following two publications:

  • Homelessness in Scotland: 2015/16.
  • Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics in Scotland: 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016

Since monitoring of Housing Options work began in April 2014, over 116,000 approaches have been made to Local Authorities. Outcomes have been recorded for around 100,000 of these approaches. Just under half (48%) went on to make a homelessness application, 22% remained in their current accommodation and 14% found alternative accommodation. 16% had an unknown outcome or contact was lost. There is considerable variation in the mix of outcomes by Local Authority area, reflecting the locally developed nature of Housing Options policies.

At 31 March 2016, just over 17,650 approaches remained open - around one in seven of all approaches received between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016.

In terms of homelessness, Scottish Local Authorities received around 35,000 homelessness applications during 2015/16, 4% lower than in 2014/15. A total of 28,000 cases were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness – 5% lower than in 2014/15. Of these, 25,000 were assessed as unintentionally homeless – and therefore with a right to settled accommodation. Roughly two-thirds (16,000) secured settled accommodation – typically a social rented tenancy or a private rented sector tenancy. This proportion has remained stable – varying between 65% and 68% since 2008/9.

There were 10,555 households in temporary accommodation on 31 March 2016, almost unchanged compared to one year before. Households with children increased by 209 households (+8%) and the total number of children in temporary increased by 591 children (+13%) compared to 31 March 2015.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publications are available at:


Homelessness in Scotland: 2015/16 is a National Statistics publication. It provides information on homelessness applications, assessments and outcomes in the period up to 31 March 2016. It also provides snapshot data on households in temporary accommodation on 31 March 2016 together with data on the implementation of the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014.

Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics in Scotland: 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016 gives an overview of key trends and features of Housing Options work in Scotland over the two years from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016. These statistics are being published as experimental statistics in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage. These official statistics have not yet been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and have therefore not been designated as National Statistics at this stage.

Housing Options has been described as a process which starts with housing advice when someone approaches a local authority with a housing problem. This means looking at an individual’s options and choices in the widest sense. This approach may feature early intervention and explores a range of possible tenure options, including council housing, RSLs and the private rented sector. The advice can also cover personal circumstances which may not necessarily be housing related, such as debt advice, mediation and mental health issues.

Scottish Government policy has been for housing options to be developed locally. As such, there is no single definition of housing options operating across all Local Authorities.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About

Back to top