Homeless applicants may be placed in temporary accommodation while the council assesses their application or while awaiting the offer of a permanent let. Also, intentionally homeless households, and before 31 December 2012, non-priority households, may have been placed in temporary accommodation as the outcome of their application.
Statistics on numbers of households in temporary accommodation are currently taken from the HL2 quarterly statistical return by Local Authorities. The return provides aggregate summary information on households in temporary accommodation at the end of the quarter who have been placed there as a consequence of their homelessness application.
In addition to the data collected via the HL2 data return, from 1 April 2016, Local Authorities began submitting data on temporary accommodation via the HL3 return.
The HL3 return collects placement level information on temporary accommodation and will enable analysis of the total number of people and families who have been offered and accepted temporary accommodation throughout each year.
The Scottish Government are working with local authorities to develop and quality assure the HL3 data return. Some authorities are still to provide a fully accurate and usable set of data. Once these data issues have been fully investigated and resolved, the HL3 data will be used to monitor and publish more in-depth information on the use of temporary accommodation.
The Scottish Government will take stock of the status and quality of HL3 data provided by local authorities at the Annual Homelessness Statistics User Group meeting on 20th February 2018 and discuss any outstanding actions required before plans can be developed to publish analysis and statistics from this data source.
All households in temporary accommodation
After a marked increase in the number of households in temporary accommodation - from around 6,000 as at September 2003 to almost double that (11,254) as at 31 March 2011 - the total number of households has subsequently reduced to around 10,000 at the end of 2013, before rising slowly since then to almost 11,000 households in the latest period. On 30 September 2017, there were 10,899 households in temporary accommodation, a 1% increase (139 households) compared with 30 September 2016, when there were 10,760 households in temporary accommodation (see Table 8a and Chart 7).
Chart 7: Number of homeless households in temporary accommodation in Scotland, by Quarter, April 2002 to September 2017
At the Local Authority level, the situation is more complex. Comparing the situation on 30 September 2017 with the same date one year ago, the number of homeless households in temporary accommodation fell in 16 Local Authority areas and increased in 16 Local Authority areas. 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 (82 households) (see Table 9 ).
Chart 8 shows that some Local Authorities have seen noticeable increases in the number of households in temporary accommodation in recent quarters. For example, this is clearly apparent for Edinburgh and West Lothian. As at 30 September 2017 both of these local authorities had their highest levels of households in temporary accommodation.
The trends in numbers in temporary accommodation are likely to be due to a combination of the changes to the homelessness legislation, the availability of settled accommodation and the impacts of Housing Options. A further discussion of these impacts can be found in the annual publication Homelessness in Scotland: 2016/17  .
Chart 8: Number of households in temporary accommodation by local authority and quarter, April 2002 to September 2017
Note: The darker markers on the lines indicate the lowest and highest recorded number of households in temporary accommodation over this period. No axis labels are provided as the chart shows change over time within individual Local Authorities. The maximum and minimum values are different for each Local Authority, and so visual comparisons across Local Authorities should be avoided.
Households with children in temporary accommodation
On 30 September 2017, there were 3,426 households with children or with a household member pregnant in temporary accommodation ( Table 8b and Chart 9). This is an increase of 87 such households (3%) compared to the same date one year ago. Households with children currently comprise almost a third (31%) of the 10,899 households in temporary accommodation.
Chart 9: Number of households with children or pregnant women in temporary accommodation, by quarter, April 2002 to September 2017
Note: From June 2007, the figures also include households where a member of the household was pregnant.
The accommodation provided to households with children or a pregnant woman was mainly local authority or housing association accommodation (81%), with a small proportion (1%) being placed in bed and breakfast accommodation (see Table 8b ).
There were 6,581 children in homeless households in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2017, an increase of 594 (+10%) from 30 September 2016 (see Table 8c ).
On 30 September 2017, 25 out of 32 Local Authorities had no households with children or a pregnant woman in bed & breakfast accommodation. Within the remaining 7 Local Authorities, there were a total of 37 households which had children or a pregnant woman in such accommodation. Edinburgh contained 25 of these households. East Lothian and Glasgow had 3; Fife and Stirling had 2; Eilean Siar and West Lothian had 1 ( Table 10 ). Compared to the same date one year ago, the number of households with children or a pregnant woman in bed and breakfast accommodation is the same.
Implementation of the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014
The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014 came into force on 21 November 2014. It revokes the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2004.
For each quarter from June 2005, Local Authorities have reported on the number of households with children, or where a household member was pregnant, who were in unsuitable temporary accommodation at the end of the quarter, and whether the accommodation provided to the household was in breach of the Order (i.e. the household was in unsuitable temporary accommodation for more than 14 days). The figures below show that in the quarter ending 30 September 2017:
- 34 households were in unsuitable accommodation, these were in Edinburgh (25 households), Glasgow (3 households), Fife (2 households), Eilean Siar, East Lothian, Stirling and West Lothian (1 household in each local authority area) (see Table 11 ). Compared to the same time point one year ago, the total number of households in unsuitable accommodation has not changed.
- There were 12 households in breach of the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014 (see Table 12 ). These were recorded in three local authorities: Edinburgh (11 households) and East Lothian (1 household). Compared to the same time point one year ago (30 September 2016), the total number of households in breach has stayed the same.
The Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2017 recently changed the 2014 Order to reduce the period of time (from 14 to 7 days) that a household in unsuitable temporary accommodation is identified as a breach. This change in legislation came into force on 2 October 2017 and so will be reflected in the reporting of the next set of statistics, to be published in June 2018. For more information see the Summary of current legislation.
Please note: All of the tables in this publication are available in electronic format at: http://www.gov.scot/homelessstats