Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2022

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the six-month period from 1 April 2022 to 30 September 2022, alongside historical data.


Key Points

  • 83% of unintentionally homeless cases secured a settled accommodation as an outcome
  • the proportion of unintentionally homeless households with an outcome of private rented tenancy remains lower than pre-pandemic

Homelessness cases are closed once the local authority has fulfilled its statutory duty or contact has been lost with the applicant household for 28 days. Local authorities provide information on the circumstances and outcomes of homelessness cases once they have been closed.

Cases closed

Over the six-month period in 2022, there were 13,150 applications closed that had been assessed as unintentionally homeless. This is a decrease of 4% and 7% compared to 2021 and 2019 respectively. It is, however, notably higher than the 10,070 that closed in 2020, although this period is known to be affected by reduced levels of activity and availability of settled accommodation due to COVID-19.

Lost contact

Contact was maintained for most households assessed as unintentionally homeless (96%, the same as last year) and intentionally homeless (93%, a decrease from 95% last year, although bearing in mind these are based on relatively small numbers).


Of the 12,665 unintentionally homeless cases that closed in the six-month period (where contact was maintained and the outcome known), 83% secured settled accommodation. This is the same as last year and slightly higher than 82% in 2019.

Settled accommodation here is defined as a local authority tenancy, a tenancy with a registered social landlord or a private rented tenancy.

Homeless households with an outcome of private rented tenancies remain lower than pre-pandemic, with outcomes of LA tenancy and RSL higher than pre-pandemic

Chart 9: Outcomes for households assessed as unintentionally homeless or threatened with homelessness, 2019 to 2022

Bar chart showing the outcomes of households assessed as unintentionally homeless as a proportion of all known outcomes over the last four years (April to September)

The proportion of intentionally homeless households securing settled accommodation decreased from 54% to 38%.  However, these are based on relatively small numbers and are therefore particularly susceptible to natural fluctuation.

Housing support assessments

Upon closing a homelessness case, local authorities are required to assess whether any housing support services are required by the household for any cases assessed as unintentionally homeless and where it has reason to believe that support would be beneficial. It also has a duty to provide that support if needed.

Across Scotland, assessments for housing support needs were carried out in 79% of cases where there was a duty to assess between April and September 2022 – a decrease from 81% last year. Support was provided for 40% of all cases (decrease from 41% last year), although support was not provided for 7% who were identified as needing it (same as last year). In 20% of cases where there was a duty to assess, no assessment took place and no support was provided (increase from 17% last year).

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