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 homelessness assessments made between 1 April and 30 September 2017, 14,607 (82%) were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness, 648 (4%) were assessed as not homeless and 833 (5%) had their homelessness resolved before the assessment was made. There were 1,645 (9%) applications where contact was lost before assessment, the application was withdrawn or the applicant was ineligible for assistance. 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%).
Note that the number of assessments made during April to September (17,733) is lower than the number of applications for homelessness assistance (17,797). These numbers do not match because some applications made during the period are yet to reach assessment stage; and some assessments during this period are completed for applications that were made before the period.
From 31st December 2012 onwards, the distinction between priority need and non-priority need applications was abolished. Chart 2 shows the figures, over time.
Chart 2: Homelessness Assessment in Scotland, by quarter, April 2002 to September 2017
To note, prior to 31st December 2012, the priority need category included:
- unintentionally homeless and in priority need;
- intentionally homeless and in priority need;
- unintentionally potentially homeless and in priority need; and
- intentionally potentially homeless and in priority need.
Cases assessed as homeless (or threatened with homelessness) are also tested as to whether they made themselves homeless intentionally. If an applicant has made themselves intentionally homeless, they are not entitled to settled accommodation. They are only entitled to be housed in temporary accommodation for a reasonable period of time, and be given advice and assistance.
The proportion of cases assessed as intentionally homeless has generally increased at a national level since 2009, but since 2014 this proportion has reduced from a quarterly average of 6% to 5% ( Table 1 and Chart 3). Of the 17,733 homelessness assessments made between 1 April and 30 September 2017, there were 784 intentionality decisions, a slight increase of 5 (1%) in the number of such decisions compared with the same period one year earlier.
Chart 3: Percentage of cases assessed as intentionally homeless, by quarter, April 2002 to September 2017
Table 5 shows that, between 1 April and 30 September 2017, there is a high proportion of intentionally homeless assessments in a number of Local Authorities - the highest proportions were in Falkirk (16.3%), Moray (15.8%) and East Lothian (13.1%).