- 82% of households secure settled accommodation, increasing from 63% in 2002/03.
- 6% of homeless households had previously been assessed as homeless in the previous 12 months, and 15% in the previous 5 years.
Homelessness cases are closed once the local authority has fulfilled its statutory duty or contact has been lost with the applicant household for 28 days. Local authorities provide information on the circumstances and outcomes of homelessness cases once they have been closed.
How often do local authorities lose contact with applicants?
For households assessed in 2019/20, contact was maintined for 95% of those assessed as unintentionally homeless and for 93% assessed as intentionally homeless.
The proportion of applicants maintaining contact has increased slightly over time for unintentionally homeless households, from 88% in 2007/08. For intentionally homeless households, the proportion has declined slightly in recent years, falling from 96% in 2009/10. (Table 47)
What are the outcomes for homeless households?
Of the 27,002 unintentionally homelessness cases that closed in 2019/20 (where contact was maintained and the outcome was known), 82% (20,806) secured settled accommodation as their outcome. Settled accommodation here is defined as a local authority tenancy (which accounted for 46% of outcomes), a tenancy with a registered social landlord (30%) or a private rented tenancy (5%).
The remaining outcomes were 'Not known (contact maintained)' (8%), 'Other (known)' (8%), 'Returned to previous/present accommodation' (5%), 'Moved in with friends/relatives' (4%) and 'Hostel' (1%).
The proportion of unintentionally homeless households securing settled accommodation has increased over time, from 63% in 2002/03 to 82% in 2019/20. Intentionally homeless households are less likely to secure settled accommodation, with 45% doing so in 2019/20. (Tables 48 & 49)
Local connection referrals
In 2019/20, 170 homeless households were referred to another local authority. This number has fallen from 390 in 2005/06. This decline has largely been driven by Glasgow, which referred 0 cases in 2019/20 compared to 150 in 2005/06. (Table 54)
Is there a return to homelessness?
In order to understand the longer-term outcomes for homeless households, and whether outcomes upon case closure are sustained, there is interest in 'repeat homelessness' i.e. where households previously assessed as homeless re-enter the homelessness system at a later point in time. Chart 12 shows the proportion of households assessed as homeless that were previously assessed as homeless in the last 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years from 2007-08 to 2019-20. There were 1,774 households (6%) that had previously been assessed as homeless in the 12 months prior to their most recent assessments, increaseing to 4,780 (15%) in the previous 5 years. These proportions have increased in 2019/20 following decreases since 2014/15. (Table 15)
There is significant local variation between local authorities with respect to repeat homelessness. For example, 12% of households assessed as homeless in Inverclyde had previously been assessed as homeless in the 12 months prior to their assessment, compared to 0% in Orkeny and Shetland, though all are based on relatively small numbers. (Table 16)
Were Housing Support assessments carried out and housing support provided?
Upon closing a homelessness case, local authorities are required to assess whether any housing support services are required by the household for any cases assessed as unintentionally homeless and where it has reason to believe that support would be beneficial. It also has a duty to provide that support if needed.
Across Scotland, assessments for housing support needs were carried out in 76% of cases where there was a duty to assess in 2019/20. Housing support was provided in 38% of all cases, although support was not provided for 12% of cases where a support need was identified. In 23% of cases where there was a duty to assess, no assessment took place and no support was provided. (Table 55)
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