Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2017
Information on homelessness applications, assessments and outcomes in the period to 30 September 2017.
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For the six-month period of 1 April to 30 September 2017:
- There were 17,797 applications for homelessness assistance during the 6 months April to September 2017. This was 2% (330 applications) higher than the same 6 month period in 2016. However when looking over the whole of the last 12 months, there has been a smaller 0.3% (118 applications) annual increase from 34,746 applications in the 12 months to end September 2016 to 34,864 applications in the 12 months to end September 2017.
- The number of homelessness applications over time has decreased since 2010, with the latest annual figure of 34,864 applications being 22,842 (40%) less than the 57,706 applications in the 12 months to end September 2010, however this downward trend has slowed down over the last couple of years and has leveled out since 2015.
- In the year to end September 2017, the greatest increase in number of applications was seen in Aberdeen City, where applications increased by 407 (32%) from 1,286 to 1,693. Glasgow City saw the biggest decrease, with applications falling by 447 (8%) from 5,876 to 5,429. Applications in Edinburgh fell by 333 applications (9%) from 3,591 to 3,258. A total of 18 out of 32 (56%) of local authorities saw an increase in applications in the latest year to end September.
- The proportion of direct homelessness applications – that is those which don’t go through Housing Options first - has increased in the latest 6 month period. During April to September 2017, 46% of all homelessness applications were direct applications, up 6 percentage points (from 40% to 46%) from April to September 2016.
- There has been no substantive change in the number of assessments made by local authorities when comparing the latest 6 month period of April to September 2017 with the same period in 2016 (17,733 assessment were made between April to September 2017, compared to 17,713 for the same period in 2016, an increase of only 20 assessments). Over the full 12 month period to end September 2017, the number of assessments made has fallen by 1% (239 assessments) compared to the previous year.
- Of the 17,733 assessments made in the 6 month period April to September 2017, there were 14,607 (82%) homeless or threatened with homelessness assessments. Compared with the same period one year ago, the proportion of cases assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness has remained the same (at 82%).
Of the 10,895 unintentionally homeless households that had an outcome during April to September 2017, around four out of five households (8,815 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 2017. This proportion of households securing settled accommodation has been at a roughly constant level of around four out of five in each quarterly period over the last decade.
As at 30 September 2017:
- There were 10,899 households in temporary accommodation – a 1% increase (139 households) compared to the same date from one year earlier (10,760 households in 2016 ( Table 8a).
- Compared with the same time one year ago, 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 Perth and Kinross (-64 households) and Midlothian (-55 households). The largest increases were in Edinburgh (+101 households) and Glasgow city (+82 households) ( Table 9).
- On 30 September 2017, there were 3,426 households with children or with a pregnant household member in temporary accommodation ( Table 8b). This is an increase of 87 such households (+3%) compared to the same date one year ago. Households with children currently comprise 31% of the 10,899 households in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2017, a similar percentage to that seen one year earlier (31%).
- There were 6,581 children in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2017, an increase of 594 (+10%) compared to 30 September 2016.
- On 30 September 2017, there were 37 households with children or a pregnant member of the household in bed and breakfast accommodation – 25 of these households were in Edinburgh ( Table 10). There was a similar total number of households (37) in bed and breakfast accommodation in the previous year as at September 2016.
- There were 34 households in unsuitable accommodation  on 30 September 2017, the same number as one year previously. Of the 34 households in unsuitable accommodation on 30 September 2017, there were 12 breaches of The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014 (i.e. where the household was in unsuitable accommodation for more than 14 days), the same as recorded one year previously (see Table 12). As at 30 September 2017, Edinburgh had 25 households in unsuitable accommodation, accounting for 74% of the total Scotland figure, and had 11 breaches of the unsuitable accommodation order, accounting for 92% of the Scotland figure.
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