Homelessness in Scotland: 2022-23

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023, alongside historical data.

How long does it take to complete the homelessness application process?

Key points in 2022-23

  • it takes an average of 21 days for a homelessness case to be assessed. This is two days longer compared to 2021-22 but is eight days less than 2004-05
  • the average number of days from assessment to closure for cases assessed as homeless has increased to 266, the highest in the time series. This is an increase from 262 days in 2021-22 and 228 days in 2018-19

How long does it take for an application to be processed?

In 2022-23, it took 21 days on average for a case to be assessed following an application. This is two days longer on average than in 2020-21, and the highest since 2009-10. The longest average time in the time series was 29 days in 2004-05.

West Lothian has a particularly long average time (53 days), with Edinburgh the next longest (37 days). Both these councils noted staff resourcing issues having an impact.

Glasgow had the shortest average time of 11 days, which is an increase of 2 days compared to 2021-22.

Average time to close homelessness cases has increased over time

Chart 18: Average time (in days) to close a homelessness case: 2002-03 to 2022-23

Line chart showing the longer term trend in average time taken from a homelessness assessment to closure of the application for homeless households

This increase reflects the ongoing difficulties local authorities are facing providing households with settled accommodation as previously mentioned.

Edinburgh had the highest average of 654 days; this was an increase from 636 in 2021-22 and 481 in 2020-21. West Lothian (393 to 480) and Stirling (438 to 517) also had large increases from the previous year. Perth & Kinross had the lowest average at 78 days; an increase from 64 days the previous year, but a general decrease since 2014-15. There were notable decreases for average time in East Dunbartonshire (403 to 231) who attributed this to their focus on rapid re-housing efforts and Midlothian (672 to 534) to converting temporary accommodation into permanent accommodation.

For households not assessed as homeless, where the local authority does not have a duty to provide temporary accommodation or permanent settled accommodation, the average time to close a case was 46 days. This is also an increase on the previous year (33 days) and over time (from 7 days in 2002-03). Edinburgh was again the highest (148 days compared to 101 the previous year).



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