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 2016/17. However, the number of households in temporary accommodation continues to increase.

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

  • Homelessness in Scotland: 2016/17
  • Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics in Scotland: 2016/17

Scottish Local Authorities received around 34,100 applications for homelessness assistance during 2016/17, 2% lower than in the same period in 2015/16. During the same period 34,267 assessments were made, 82% of which were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness, this was the same proportion as in 2015/16.

Overall, there were 10,873 households in temporary accommodation as at 31 March 2017 – an increase of 330 households (+3%) compared with one year earlier. Over a quarter (3,250 households) included children or a pregnant member of the household - an increase of 367 households (+13%) since the same time last year. The number of children in temporary accommodation also increased, by 818 children (+16%) compared to the same time last year.

With respect to Housing Options, local authorities received 50,120 approaches during 2016/17, a reduction of 5,985 (-11%) compared to the same period in 2015/16. The most common activities undertaken were providing general housing/tenancy advice and informing households of their rights under the homelessness legislation.            

For approaches closed during 2016/17, 44% went on to make a homelessness application, 22% remained in their current accommodation and 16% found alternative accommodation. 18% 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.

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



The full statistical publication is available at:


The Homelessness in Scotland publication is a National Statistics publication which  provides information on homelessness applications, assessments and outcomes in the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017. It also provides snapshot data on households in temporary accommodation on 31 March 2017 together with data on the implementation of The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014.

The Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics in Scotland publication gives an overview of key trends and features of Housing Options work in Scotland over the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, providing further reporting of the statistics available since the scheme began in April 2014.  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 features early intervention and explores all possible tenure options, including council housing, housing associations 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”.

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

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