Ending Homelessness Together Monitor: strategic outcomes and indicators 2024

The Ending Homelessness Together (EHT) Monitor will measure the impact of the EHT action plan and demonstrate whether and where we are making progress toward ending homelessness in Scotland. The Monitor provides a reporting framework to measure progress on 10 structural and strategic outcomes.

About the Ending Homelessness Together Plan

The Ending Homelessness Together (EHT) Plan is a joint Scottish Government and COSLA plan published in 2018 and updated in 2020. It sets out how national and local government and third sector partners will work together to end homelessness.

Homelessness has a broad definition in Scotland and each experience of it is unique. It can impact on many aspects of someone's life, including our health and wellbeing, relationships, education, employment and on our ability to travel and have digital access.

This means that almost all social policy in Scotland can also contribute to ending homelessness. There are three overarching frameworks that connect to the EHT Plan:

  • The vision and values of Scotland's National Performance Framework.
  • A Wellbeing Economy which recognises the importance of delivering not just economic, but human and ecological wellbeing.
  • Housing to 2040 which sets out a vision for housing in Scotland and a route-map which sets the overarching strategy for housing in Scotland.

About the Ending Homelessness Together Monitor

The Ending Homelessness Together (EHT) Monitor measures the impact of the plan and provides a reporting framework. It intends to:

  • Demonstrate whether we are making progress toward ending homelessness in Scotland.
  • Measure what matters to people who experience homelessness.
  • Indicate the impact of policy and practice decisions.
  • Create a shift from reporting activity to measuring outcomes.
  • Reduce unnecessary data reporting burdens on local authorities.

What we are measuring

The EHT Plan describes a set of commitments to act upon:

  • Embed a person-centred approach.
  • Prevent homelessness from happening in the first place.
  • Prioritise settled homes for all.
  • Join up planning and resources to tackle homelessness.
  • Respond quickly and effectively whenever homelessness happens.

The EHT Monitordetermines the impact of those commitments by measuring progress toward the following 10 outcomes:

a. Structural Outcomes

The wider structural change needed to prevent and end homelessness – preventing it earlier, increasing housing supply and reducing poverty:

1. Sufficient social and affordable homes.

2. Fewer households experience poverty which drives homelessness.

3. Fewer children grow up in households experiencing low income and material

4. Fewer households experience a shortfall between welfare benefits and housing

5. More public sector bodies ask about housing and act to prevent homelessness

b. Strategic Outcomes

The highest-level change that can be reasonably attributed to the range of commitments in the EHT Plan:

6. Fewer people become homeless.

7. Time spent homeless is reduced.

8. More equality in housing outcomes.

9. People have more choice and control if they experience homelessness.

10. More equipped and enabled workforce.

How we are measuring this

The EHT Monitoruses a set of indicators to help measure progress toward the outcomes. It does this by:

  • Focusing on the drivers of homelessness by drawing on evidence that demonstrates the link between homelessness, increasing housing supply and reducing poverty. These data sources used are outlined at appendix 1.
  • Using measurable indicators from existing data sets bydrawing from existing data sets used in the housing and homelessness sector. Indicators are detailed in the outcomes and indicators section below.
  • Improving existing data sets by addressing thegaps or limitations in the existing data sets. See s.3 of the Measuring Impact Task and Finish Group final report.

This is supplemented by two new methods to fill key data gaps:

  • Annual Survey of Housing and Homelessness Sector which will span the indicators specified in the outcomes and indicators section below.
  • Peer Research Programme focused on the experiences of people and services. Led by All in For Change and co-designed with researchers to span the specific indicators in the outcomes and indicators section below.

Criteria for selecting indicators

The criteria to select indicators for the EHT Monitor draw on international best practice and are the criteria used by the Scottish Government to monitor key policy areas, including the National Performance Framework and Wellbeing Economy Monitor.

The 7 criteria are:

  • Relevance: There must be a clear relationship between the indicator and the strategy outcome.
  • Validity: The indicator must measure what it is supposed to measure.
  • Distinctiveness: The indicator must not measure something already captured under other indicators.
  • Practicality: The indicator must provide value for money, and it must be feasible and affordable to obtain data.
  • Clarity: The indicator must be straightforward to interpret by the intended audience. It must clearly communicate the measure that it is trying to assess.
  • Credibility: The indicator must be based upon impartial, reliable data that is precise enough to show change over time.
  • Public interest: Indicators must be engaging and relevant for members of the public.


Statutory Homelessness

There is a legal definition of homelessness in Scotland that both the EHT Plan and Monitor work within. The legal definition of homelessness is as follows:

A person is homeless if s/he:

  • has no accommodation in the United Kingdom or elsewhere, which s/he is
    entitled to occupy together with other members of her/his household.
  • has accommodation, but it is not reasonable to continue to occupy it.
  • has accommodation but cannot secure entry to it.
  • has accommodation, but occupation of it will probably lead to abuse or threats of
    abuse from someone who lives there.
  • has accommodation, but occupation of it will probably lead to abuse or threats of
    abuse from someone who previously resided with the applicant in that
    accommodation or elsewhere.
  • has accommodation, but it is moveable (such as a caravan or houseboat) and
    there is nowhere to place it and live in it.
  • has accommodation, but this is overcrowded and may endanger the health of the

A person is threatened with homelessness if s/he is likely to become homeless within
two months.

Hidden Homelessness

Scottish Government commissioned research to better understand housing insecurity and hidden homelessness. The description of hidden homelessness agreed by the Research Advisory Group is as follows:

People experience hidden homelessness when they have no accommodation which
they can reasonably be expected to occupy but their situation is not ‘visible’ either: a)
on the streets and/or b) in official statistics, such as people who:

  • Would be deemed homeless according to the legal definition employed in
    Scotland but may not consider themselves to be so (and therefore do not seek
    assistance from public authorities).
  • Have sought assistance from support services because of their housing
    circumstances but have not gone on to apply as homeless via the council; or
  • Are living in situations that inarguably constitute homelessness

Homelessness in Scotland will be ended when everyone has the home they need.

Ending Homelessness

A top-level definition to umbrella each of the EHT Monitor strategic outcomes and indicators:

Ending Homelessness Together

The delivery partners 'together' in the joint Scottish Government and COSLA EHT Plan are:

  • Strategic Housing Authorities: the local authority, whether or not they have a social housing stock profile. This is a corporate responsibility across all parts of the local authority to ensure the applicant is helped appropriately and effectively.
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships: who work towards national health and wellbeing outcomes. All partnerships are responsible for adult social care, adult primary health care and unscheduled adult hospital care. Some are also responsible for children's services, homelessness and criminal justice social work.
  • Social Landlords: Social housing in Scotland is housing owned and managed by public authorities (mainly councils) and housing associations (registered social landlords).
  • Third and Independent Sector: organisations that provide accommodation, support, advice and advocacy services. Along with campaigning, influencing, membership and knowledge-based organisations.


Email: homelessness_external_mail@gov.scot

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