Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2023

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the six-month period from 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2023, alongside historical data.

This document is part of a collection

The extent of homelessness in Scotland

Key Points

  • increases in all of homelessness applications, households assessed as homeless, households and children in temporary accommodation, and open applications.

Applications, assessments, and households in temporary accommodation

Table A: Homelessness applications, assessments and households in temporary accommodation, April to September 2022 and 2023












Assessed as homeless





Open applications as at 30 September





Households in temporary accommodation as at 30 September





Over the six-month period 1 April to 30 September 2023, there have been increases in the number of: homelessness applications; households assessed as homeless; open homelessness applications; and households in temporary accommodation, compared to the same period in 2022.

This is the second year in a row increases have been experienced across all these measures. As at 30 September 2023, open applications and households in temporary accommodation reached the highest in the time series from 2003 and 2002, respectively.

The number of children in temporary accommodation has also been increasing over time. This reached 9,895 at 30 June 2023, and decreased very slightly to 9,860 at 30 September 2023. However, this still represents an annual increase of 8% on the 9,125 children in temporary accommodation at 30 September 2022.

Many local authorities have noted that the overall increase in applications, coupled with the reduction in the ability to provide settled accommodation to homeless households has led to increases in open applications and increases in temporary accommodation.

For local authorities that were able to provide explanations around the increases in applications, common themes emerged around: increased cost of living; less affordable housing as a result of increases in private sector rents and interest rates; and increased demand from asylum seeks, migrants and those from resettlement schemes.

Common reasons for inability to provide settled accommodation emerging from local authority feedback were: lack of staff capacity to meet increased demands; lack of affordable housing options, meaning it can take longer to find and provide settled accommodation; lack of supply of new affordable housing, affected by increased development costs; and on-going backlogs which built up as a result of COVID-19.


Of the 16,420 applications that were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness in the six-month period in 2023, 16,085 (98%) were assessed as unintentionally homeless and 335 (2%) were assessed as intentionally homeless. Intentionally homeless households increased by 116 (53%) compared to last year, although they only account for 2% of all assesments.

Local authority differences


Twenty local authorities saw a numerical increase in applications between April to September 2022 and April to September 2023.

Glasgow experienced the largest numerical increase (343, 11%), followed by North Lanarkshire (222, 24%) and South Lanarkshire (217, 18%).

Other local authorities with large proportionate increases were: Midlothian (71, 26%); Perth & Kinross (92, 25%); and Inverclyde (36, 24%).

The largest numerical decreases were in Fife (96, 7%) and Dumfries & Galloway (86, 13%).

Open homelessness applications

Large increases in the number of open homelessness applications were experienced for: Edinburgh (898); South Lanarkshire (494); Glasgow (488); Falkirk (355); Aberdeen City (284) and North Lanarkshire (208).

Fife, Highland, Stirling and West Lothian had the largest decreases in the number of open homelessness applications, each between 124 and 129.

Households assessed as homeless

Large proportionate increases were experienced for: Perth & Kinross (120, 43%); Falkirk (120, 28%); and West Lothian (114, 27%).

East Renfrewshire has the highest proportionate decrease (100, 39%).

Temporary accommodation

Edinburgh (378, 11%), Glasgow (222, 7%), Aberdeen City (198, 69%), Fife (176, 21%) and Falkirk (120, 34%) have had the largest numerical increases between September 2022 and September 2023. Perth & Kinross has also experienced a high proportionate increase (24, 47%).

The largest decrease was in Highland (146, 23%), as a result of pioritising housing allocations to homeless households.


Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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