Information

Homelessness in Scotland: Equalities Breakdown 2019 to 2020

This bulletin provides information about homelessness in Scotland, with a focus on the equalities characteristics of homeless applicants.

This document is part of a collection


Ethnicity

The following provides key findings for aspects of homelessness where there are differences based on the ethnicity of the main applicant.

However, differences for aspects of homelessness were not always as clear for ethnicity as other characteristics. This indicated that a housing situation or need may be more closely linked with age, gender or household composition than ethnicity.

Care should be taken when interpreting the findings as some of these are based on small numbers.

Reasons for homelessness and prior circumstances

Asian applicants most likely to experience homelessness as a result of a violent household disput
Reasons for homelessness by ethnicity, percentage (2019/20)
Bar chart showing reason for making a homeless application by ethnicity

'Other' ethnic group applicants are much more likely to become homeless from supported accommodation. This is likely due to this group including a large number of applications from households granted refugee or leave to remain in the UK status.

White British (12% of applications from this group), White Irish (11%) and White Polish (11%) applicants were proportionally more likely to report rough sleeping compared to 8% for all applications.

White Scottish applicants are proportionally more likely to have been previously assessed as homeless, with 6% previously assessed in the last 12 months. This compares to 2-4% for other ethnic groups. 6% of Caribbean or Black applicants and 5% of mixed/multiple ethnicity were reassessed as homeless, though these figures are based on relatively small numbers of applications.

Support needs

White Scottish and White British main applicants more likely to have at least one support need compared to other ethnicities
Proportion with one or more support need(s) by ethnicity, percentage (2019/20)
Bar chart showing proportion of homeless households with one or more support need by ethnicity

The most common support need amongst White Scottish and White British was mental health problem (29%). This compares to 21% for White Irish and Mixed/multiple ethnicity, the groups with the next highest proportion having this support need.

Temporary accommodation

Applicants with 'other' ethnicity are most likely to have at least one temporary accommodation placement (81%); this may be related to this group containing a larger proportion of applicants granted refugee or leave to remain in the UK status. Those of White Irish ethnicity were least likely to have a temporary accommodation placement (57%).

Use of Bed and Breakfast accommodation was less common amongst White Scottish and White British main applicants
Proportion of temporary accommodation placements taken up that were bed and breakfast accommodation, percentage (2019/20)
Bar chart showing proportion of temporary accommodation placements taken up that were bed and breakfast accommodation by ethnicity

This ties in with the disproportionately low number of breaches seen for these ethnicities (less than 40% of all breaches).

Conversely, there are a disproportionately high numbers of breaches for all other ethnicities, with the exception of White Irish and unknown.

White applicants spent less time in temporary accommodation on average than other ethnic groups
Average total time (days) spent in temporary accommodation, (2019/20)
Bar chart showing average total time spent in temporary accommodation by ethnicity

Those with other or unknown ethnicity had disproportionately high levels of not being offered temporary accommodation (13% and 11% respectively).

Outcomes

There was little difference in the proportion of households securing settled accommodation
Proportion securing settled accommodation by ethnicity, percentage (2019/20)
Bar chart showing proportion of household securing settled accommodation as the outcome of their application by ethnicity

It took 300 days on average from application to case closure for African applicants and 277 days for Caribbean or Black applicants, compared to 224 days overall. This ties in with the higher average time in temporary accommodation for these groups.

Contact

Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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