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.

Reasons for homelessness and prior circumstances

Key Points

  • proportion homeless from private rented tenancies higher than pre-pandemic
  • increase in the last two quarters in the number of households reporting rough sleeping


‘Asked to leave’ and ‘household disputes’ remain the most common reasons given for making a homelessness application. While still higher than 2019, both have experienced recent decreases indicating a return to pre-pandemic proportions.

Most common reasons for homelessness are returning towards pre-pandemic proportions

Chart 4: Main reasons for homelessness, 2019 to 2022

Bar chart showing the most common reasons for homelessness as a proportion of all applications over the last four years (April to September)

The notable increase in ‘Other action by landlord resulting in the termination of tenancy’, which now surpasses pre-pandemic proportions. The slight increase in ‘Termination of tenancy / mortgage due to rent arrears / default on payments’ is likely a result of the ceasing of the ban on evictions, home repossessions and mortgage deferrals.

Some applicants (74%) also provided additional reasons for homelessness. Of these, notable changes compared to the 2021 include ‘Drug / alcohol dependency’ (decrease from 12% to 9%), ‘Lack of support from family and friends’ (decrease from 22% to 19%) and ‘Not to do with applicant household’ (increase from 48% to 51%).

Previous property

The proportion of households becoming homeless from a ‘Private rented tenancy’ is higher than it was pre-pandemic. Similarly, ‘owning/buying’ remains above pre-pandemic proportions. These are tied in with the findings and reasons noted above.

Homelessness from other property types have returned, or appear to be returning, to pre-pandemic proportions.

There was a notable increase in the proportion of households becoming homeless from private rented tenancies

Chart 5: Property type from which the household became homeless, 2019 to 2022

Bar chart showing the property types from which households became homeless as a proportion of all assessed as homeless over the last four years (April to September)

Rough sleeping

Over the six-month period 1 April to 30 September 2022, 733 households (4% of all applications) reported rough sleeping the night before and 1,184 households (6% of all applications) in the previous three months before their homelessness application.

There was an increase in the reporting of rough sleeping over the last two quarters

Chart 6: Households experiencing rough sleeping prior to making a homelessness application, quarterly, January 2019 to September 2022

Line chart showing recent increases in households experiencing rough sleeping upon homeless application, by quarter over the last four years (April to September)



Back to top