Homelessness in Scotland: 2019 to 2020

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, alongside historical data.

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Main Points

Infographic presenting main findings from the publication for homelessness in 2019/20.

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Main points:

  • 31,333 households were assessed as homeless in 2019/20, a 4% increase on 2018/19.
  • There were 51,365 people in these households, including 35,654 adults and 15,711 children.
  • ‘Asked to leave’ and ‘Household disputes’ were the most common reasons for making an application.
  • 2,884 households reported at least one household member sleeping rough in 3 months prior to application. 1,643 slept rough the night before their application.
  • 33% of main applicants were aged 25 to 34, 30% were 35 to 49, 23% 16 to 24 and 14% 50 or over.
  • 66% of households were single person households. 28% included children.
  • 86% of main applicants were of White ethnicity.
  • 51% of households had at least one support need.
  • There were 11,665 households in temporary accommodation at 31st March 2020, a 6% increase on the previous year.
  • There were 7,280 children in temporary accommodation at 31st March 2020.
  • Households who used temporary accommodation spent 184 days in temporary accommodation on average. Households containing children were likely to spend more time in temporary accommodation than those without.
  • There were 4,595 instances of households not being offered temporary accommodation in 2019/20.
  • There were 500 breaches of the unsuitable accommodation order in 2019/20.
  • 61% of temporary accommodation in use at 31st March 2020 was in the social sector.
  • 36% of households did not use temporary accommodation. 35% had one temporary accommodation placement, 17% had two placements and 12% had three or more.
  • 6% of households assessed as homeless had been assessed in the previous 12 months, 12% in previous three years and 15% in previous five years.
  • 82% of households assessed as homeless secure settled accommodation at the end of their application.
  • It took 16 days on average for an application to be assessed, and 224 days from assessment to closure for applications assessed as homeless.


Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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