Homelessness in Scotland: 2016-2017

An overview of key trends and features of homelessness in Scotland from 2016 to 2017, as at 31 March 2017.

This document is part of a collection


(Tables 24 to 27)

H ouseholds assessed as unintentionally homeless have a right to settled accommodation - this is usually a Scottish Secure Tenancy with a local authority landlord or Housing Association, or an assured tenancy in the private rented sector. In 2016/17, just over two-thirds of unintentionally homeless households secured settled accommodation (17,892 or 68% of unintentionally homeless households which had an outcome in 2016/17). This proportion has remained stable since 2008/9, varying between 65% and 68% over the period (Table 24).

For those households assessed as unintentionally homeless, Orkney had the highest proportion of outcomes securing settled accommodation (88% of outcomes). While Glasgow City and Midlothian had the lowest (52% of outcomes) (Table 25).

Contact Lost / Unknown Outcomes

In 2016-17, Local Authorities closed 27,860 cases. Of these, following an assessment of homeless or threatened with homelessness, contact was maintained until case closure for 23,184 applications (83% of cases). An outcome of lost contact or unknown outcome was reported for 17% of cases. The overall proportion of lost contacts has remained roughly the same for the past 8 years, varying between 17% and 20% (Table 27).

Homeless share of social lets

In previous years, estimates have been made of the number of non-transfer lets within each Local Authority area - these are lets available to households who are not existing tenants of a Local Authority landlord or Housing Association. These estimates were compared with the number of lets secured by homeless households. This gave a measure of relative pressure for social housing by homeless households.

Previously, the Annual Performance and Statistical Return ( APSR) collected by the Scottish Housing Regulator ( SHR) contained sufficient information to make estimates of social lets in each Local Authority area. However, with the introduction of the Annual Return on the Charter in 2013/14, the SHR made the decision to only collect lettings information by individual landlord and not by Local Authority area. As some large landlords operate across multiple Local Authority areas, it is not clear how these lets should be distributed. Pro-rating total lets by the stock in each area may not take into account different turnover rates across the landlord's portfolio in different Local Authority areas. Additionally, new build can have a marked localised impact on the number of available lets in a Local Authority area. Whilst these factors may not have a big impact on larger Local Authorities, some of these issues may be key in smaller authorities such as East Dunbartonshire and East Lothian.

Data from the SCORE dataset ceased in March 2015 [11] . This data was collected voluntarily from Housing Associations and gave a partial picture of cases level lettings across some Housing Associations. Coverage was estimated to be 68% in 2014/15 [12] .

With the most recent complete lettings data coming from the APSR for 2011/12, continuing to make estimates based on data over three years old is no longer seen as robust. As a consequence, statistics on the homeless share of social lets has been paused until alternative data becomes available.


Back to top