Publication - Statistics

Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2016

Published: 17 Jan 2017
Housing and Social Justice Directorate
Part of:
Housing, Statistics

Information on homelessness applications, assessments and outcomes in the period to 30 September 2016.

31 page PDF

3.7 MB

31 page PDF

3.7 MB

Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2016
Main Points

31 page PDF

3.7 MB

Main Points

For the six-month period of 1 April to 30 September 2016:


  • There were 17,107 applications for homelessness assistance during April to September 2016. This was 3% lower than the same 6 month period in 2015.
  • The fall in applications is mainly due to the impact of Housing Options/ homelessness prevention strategies adopted by most Local Authorities over the past few years rather than to changes in the underlying drivers of homelessness.
  • The proportion of direct homelessness applications - that is those which don't go through Housing Options first, is increasing. During April to September 2016, 45% of all homelessness applications - were direct applications, up 9% on April to September 2015.


  • There has been a small decrease (-1%) in the number of assessments made by Local Authorities in Scotland comparing April to September 2016 with April to September 2015 (17,332 assessment were made between April to September 2016, compared to 17,518 for the same period in 2015).
  • Of the 17,332 assessments made, there were 14,124 homeless or threatened with homelessness assessments. This was 2% lower than in the same period in 2015 when there were 14,391 such assessments.
  • The number of assessments made during April to September (17,332) is higher than the number of applications for homelessness assistance (17,107). This is because some assessments during this period are also completed for applications that were made before the period.


  • Of the 10,312 unintentionally homeless households which had an outcome during April to September 2016, around four out of five households (8,340 households or 81%) secured settled accommodation, that is, predominantly permanent accommodation from social or private rented tenancies ( Table 6). This refers to those households with whom contact had been maintained and whose case was closed between April to September 2016. This proportion has remained relatively stable since 2007, ranging from 78% to 82%.

Temporary accommodation

As at 30 September 2016:

  • There were 10,570 households in temporary accommodation - a 1% increase compared to the same date from one year earlier (10,473 households in 2015 (see Table 8a ).
  • The number of homeless households in temporary accommodation fell in 16 Local Authority areas, and increased in 16 Local Authorities. The largest numerical decreases were in Aberdeenshire (-80 households) and Perth and Kinross (-74 households). The largest increases were in West Lothian (+107 households) and Edinburgh (+68 households) (see Table 9 ).
  • On 30 September 2016, there were 3,174 households with children or with a pregnant household member in temporary accommodation ( Table 8b ). This is an increase of 355 such households (+13%) compared to the same date one year ago. Households with children currently comprise 30% of the 10,570 households in temporary accommodation.
  • There were 5,751 children in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2016, an increase of 826 (+17%) from 30 September 2015.
  • On 30 September 2016, there were 35 households with children or a pregnant member of the household in bed and breakfast accommodation - more than double that which was recorded at the same time on 30 September 2015.
  • Sixteen of these households were in West Lothian and ten were in Edinburgh (see Table 10 ).
  • Of the 27 households in unsuitable accommodation on 30 September 2016, there were 12 breaches of The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014 (see Table 12 ). Ten of these were in West Lothian and two in Angus.