Homelessness in Scotland: update to 30 September 2021

This statistics bulletin provides information on homelessness in Scotland in the 6 month period from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021, alongside historical data.

A note on interpreting the figures

It is not possible to make direct links within a reporting period for each stage of the homlessness process as households will be at a different stage at different times.

That is, not all applications made between 1 April and 30 September 2021 will have an assessment or temporary accommodation placement within that same 6 month period. Similarly, some assessments made between 1 April and 30 September 2021 will relate to applications received prior to this; and some temporary placements in this period will relate to household applications and assessments prior to this also. Furthermore, there will be households who entered and exited temporary accommodation within the same reporting period, and therefore will not appear in the end of period snapshot of households in temporary accommodation.

To also note:

  • it is possible for households to make an application and/or be assessed more than once in the same period (although this would be extremely unlikely in a 6 month period)
  • not all households assessed as homeless enter temporary accommodation

Where the publication refers to ‘in the 6 month period’ this relates to the period 1 April to 30 September 2021, unless another year has been specified in the text. Where the years 2019, 2020 and 2021 are referred to in the publication (including charts), this relates to the respective 6 month period 1 April to 30 September in each of the years.

The term ‘homeless households’ is used throughout the publication to denote households who have been assessed as (unintentionally or intentionally) homeless or threatened with homelessness.

Impact of COVID-19

In response to the pandemic, local authorities made a huge effort to house all of those in need (including those who would not otherwise be eligible for homelessness support). This included, but was not restricted to, the accommodating of rough sleepers. Where households housed in response to the pandemic have a formal homelessness application to a local authority and/or have a temporary accommodation placement recorded on management information systems, they will be included in the statistics presented in this publication. If there is no corresponding homelessness application and/or temporary accommodation placement recorded, they will not be included.

Where findings are believed to have been impacted by COVID-19 these have been outlined within the relevant sections.

The period April-June 2020 was particularly unusual given it immediately followed the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the introduction of restrictions. As a result of changing restrictions and the on-going impact of the pandemic, quarterly 2020 figures are particularly variable. Caution should therefore be applied when making comparisons with 2020 figures, however, these comparisons are in themselves useful in observing any changes in trends since the onset of the pandemic.


Email: homelessness_statistics_inbox@gov.scot

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