Annex 1: homelessness statistics
Understanding the context
As we highlighted in Ending Homelessness Together and our annual report of January 2020, to respond well to homelessness we need to understand as much as possible about people’s individual experiences of homelessness, including the causes and impacts. Ensuring that people with lived experience help shape policy and practice is an important part of building this understanding. We also collect statistics from local authorities which provide us with local and national evidence about how many people are experiencing homelessness; the reasons they make applications; their previous circumstances; and a range of figures on the use of temporary accommodation. This annex highlights some of the key homelessness statistics across these important areas. More detail about what the statistics tell us can be found in our most recent homelessness statistics publication.
- 31,333 households were assessed as homeless in 2019/20, a 4% increase on 2018/19.
- There were 51,365 people in these households, including 35,654 adults and 17,711 children.
- ‘Asked to leave’ and ‘Household disputes’ were the most common reasons for making an application.
- 2,884 households reported at least one household member sleeping rough in 3 months prior to application. 1,643 slept rough the night before their application.
- 33% of main applicants were aged 25 to 34, 30% were 35 to 49, 23% 16 to 24 and 14% 50 or over.
- 66% of households were single person households. 28% included children.
- 86% of main applicants were of White ethnicity.
- 51% of households had at least one support need.
- There were 11,665 households in temporary accommodation at 31st March 2020, a 6% increase on the previous year.
- There were 7,280 children in temporary accommodation at 31st March 2020.
- Households who used temporary accommodation spent 184 days in temporary accommodation on average. Households containing children were likely to spend more time in temporary accommodation than those without.
- There were 4,595 instances of households not being offered temporary accommodation in 2019/20.
- There were 500 breaches of the unsuitable accommodation order in 2019/20.
- 61% of temporary accommodation in use at 31st March 2020 was in the social sector.
- 36% of households did not use temporary accommodation. 35% had one temporary accommodation placement, 17% had two placements and 12% had three or more.
- 6% of households assessed as homeless had been assessed in the previous 12 months, 12% in previous three years and 15% in previous five years.
- 82% of households assessed as homeless secure settled accommodation at the end of their application.
- It took 16 days on average for an application to be assessed, and 224 days from assessment to closure for applications assessed as homeless.
The impact of coronavirus
The tables and charts in the following pages contain data from the end of March 2019 up until the end of March 2020. This only crosses over with around a week of coronavirus restrictions and changes in practices being in place. Therefore, changes in trends in homeless data as result of coronavirus will be minimal over this reporting period, particularly for annual figures.
COVID-19 may have had more of an impact on snapshot data recording households in temporary accommodation as at 31 March 2020 as actions in response to coronavirus were taken before this date.
The extent of homelessness in Scotland
In the longer term, applications have fallen since the peak of over 60,000 in 2005/06. In recent years, the number of applications has increased slightly, although there was only a very slight increase of 84 applications (0%) in 2019/20, compared to 2018/19. This compared to a 4% increase in the number of households assessed as homeless in 2019/20 compared to 2018/19.
|All assessed as homeless||30,236||31,333|
|Mental health problem||7,486||8,313|
|Drug or alcohol dependency||3,386||3,498|
|Basic housing management/independent living skills||6,929||7,253|
|Households with at least one support need identified||14,700||15,991|