Homelessness in Scotland: 2020 to 2021

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, alongside historical data.

This document is part of a collection

Main Points for 2020/21

Infographic presenting main findings from the publication for homelessness in 2020/21.

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  • Upon the introduction of covid-19 restrictions, the number of homelessness applications, those assessed as homeless and homelessness cases that closed declined.
  • However, the number of households in temporary accommodation and open applications increased.
  • There were 42,149 people in homeless households – 30,345 adults and 11,804 children.
  • There was an increase in the proportion of households giving asked to leave and household disputes as their reason for making a homeless application. There was a decrease in the proportion of households giving loss of accommodation as the reason.
  • There was also a decrease in the number of households making a homeless application whose previous property was a private tenancy.
  • 2,437 households reported sleeping rough 3 months before and 1,471 the night before their application.
  • 62% of households in temporary accommodation were in the social sector.
  • 34% of households did not require temporary accommodation. 36% had one temporary accommodation placement, 18% had two, and 12% had three or more.
  • Households requiring temporary accommodation spent 199 days on average in temporary accommodation, compared to 187 last year.
  • The proportion of households securing settled accommodation fell to 80% in 2020/21, compared to 83% last year.
  • The main applicant for 62% of homeless households was aged 25 to 49.
  • 70% of homeless households contained a single person, while 25% contained children.
  • The main applicant for 87% of homeless households was of white ethnicity.
  • 51% of homeless households had at least one support need.


Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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