Publication - Strategy/plan

Ending homelessness together: updated action plan - October 2020

Published: 8 Oct 2020
Directorate:
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Part of:
Housing
ISBN:
9781800041028

Updated Ending Homelessness Together action plan, outlining how national government, local government and third sector partners will work together on our shared ambition to end homelessness. It has been revised to reflect actions needed in response to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Ending homelessness together: updated action plan - October 2020
Annex 1: homelessness statistics

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. 

Infographic presenting main findings from the publication for homelessness in 2019/20.
Infographic presenting main findings from the publication for homelessness in 2019/20.

Image description

Main points:

  • 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. 

Figure 1: Number of applications and those assessed as homeless: 2002/03 to 2019/20
Line chart of number of applications and households assessed as homeless from 2002/03 to 2019/20
Figure 2: Households where at least one household member experienced rough sleeping the night before their application and in the three months prior to their application: 2002/03 to 2019/20
Line chart of household experiencing rough sleeping prior to their application: 2002/03 to 2019/20
Figure 3: Rough sleeping the night before application: 2002/03 to 2019/20
Table of rough sleeping the night before application with line chart percentages: 2002/03 to 2019/20
Figure 4: Main reason for making a homelessness application: 2018/19 to 2019/20
Bar chart of the main reason for making a homelessness application: 2018/19 to 2019/20
Figure 5: Reasons for failing to maintain accommodation: 2018/19 to 2019/20
Bar chart of reasons for failing to maintain accommodation: 2018/19 to 2019/20
Figure 6: Prior housing circumstances of applicants: 2018/19 to 2019/20
Bar chart of prior housing circumstances of applicants: 2018/19 to 2019/20
Table 1: Support needs of households assessed as homeless: 2018/19 to 2019/20
  2018-19 2019-20
All assessed as homeless 30,236 31,333
Mental health problem 7,486 8,313
Learning disability 844 929
Physical disability 1,554 1,818
Medical condition 2,907 3,070
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
Figure 7: Number of households in temporary accommodation as at 31 March, by local authority: 2002 to 2020

Line chart showing number of households in temporary accommodation as at 31 March: 2002 to 2020

Figure 8: Households assessed as homeless that have previously been assessed as homeless in the previous one, three and five years: 2007/08 to 2019/20
Line chart showing households that have previously been assessed as homeless: 2007/08 to 2019/20
Chart 9: Proportion of unintentionally homeless households securing settled accommodation: 2002/03 to 2019/20
Line chart of unintentionally homeless households securing settled accommodation: 2002/03 to 2019/20

Contact

Email: Homelessness_External_Mail@gov.scot