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.

This document is part of a collection

Notes on Tables

All of the tables and charts in this publication are available in electronic format at:

The statistics included in this publication are based on administrative data collected by local authorities in the course of carrying out their homelessness activities. This data is collected from local authorities and quality assured by the Scottish Government on a quarterly basis. Details about the data we collect, our quality assurance process, and how we engage with users to improve our statistics are outlined in our quality assurance statement.


Updates to previous statistics

The data we use in this pulbication is collected from local authorities on an quarterly basis. As a result of this figures are updated on an on-going basis and may differ from those previously published. This may be a result of delays in some cases being reported to the Scottish Government due to IT issues, quality assurance processes and delayed entry of data – particularly at the end of the financial year.

For example, this publication estimates that 36,771 homeless applications were made in the 2018/19, but the previous 'Homelessness in Scotland: 2018 to 2019' publication gave a figure of 36,465. This is a difference of 306 applications, or approximately 1%. A table comparing the annual number of applications is included in the tables document accompanying this publication. 

Known data quality issues

In addition to issues just outlined, there are other data quality issues of which we are aware:

  • There are a small number temporary accommodation cases on the Scottish Government temporary accommodation placement database that are recorded as open but are linked to homelessness applications that we know to be closed. This occurs when a local authority fails to provide an update for these cases after the placement is closed. In these cases we have taken the approach of using the close date of the homeless application as the exit date of the temporary accommodation placement. This may have the impact of inflating the length of time these households are recorded as using temporary accommodation.
  • Snapshot data about temporary accommodation provided by Fife does not include all temporary accommodation placements used, and therefore understates the number of households in temporary accommodation in Fife.


Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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