Hidden homelessness: international evidence review

This report "Exploring Ways of Identifying and Counting Hidden Homeless Populations" presents an overview of the methods used internationally to identify or count people experiencing hidden forms of homelessness and the populations that may be likely to experience it. The report also considers the Scottish context and suggests areas where further research may be useful.

Annex one

There are three stages involved in a homeless application in Scotland:

1. The Application stage where the household first presents to the local authority.

2. The Assessment stage which determines:

a. if the household is eligible for assistance. Households with no recourse to public funds are not eligible for homelessness assistance, though may be provided temporary accommodation while their status is assessed

b. whether the household is homeless or threatened with homelessness

c. if the household is homeless, whether this is 'unintentional' or 'intentional' and

d. if unintentionally homeless, whether there is a connection to the local authority to which the application was made and/or to any other local authority.

Temporary accommodation must be offered, if it is required, while the household is awaiting an assessment decision.

3. The Outcome stage. A case can be closed only once the local authority has fulfilled its statutory duty or contact has been lost for 28 days. (Source: Homelessness statistics - gov.scot (www.gov.scot))

If a household is unintentionally homeless (or threatened with homelessness), the local authority must offer settled accommodation. Until this is available, the local authority must offer temporary accommodation. If a household is intentionally homeless (or threatened with homelessness), the local authority has no statutory duty to provide settled accommodation (although they may choose to do so). There is a duty to provide temporary accommodation and advice and assistance to help the household secure alternative accommodation.

A household can accept or refuse offers of accommodation. A local authority's duty to secure accommodation for unintentionally homeless households would be fulfilled by an offer that is refused, provided that the offer is a reasonable one. We know that not all households assessed as homeless enter temporary accommodation.


Email: socialresearch@gov.scot

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