Housing First quarterly monitoring: April-June 2021

A monitoring report on Housing First tenancies started in Scotland from 1 April to 30 June 2021.

This document is part of a collection

This monitoring report captures Housing First tenancies commenced in Scotland from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. The Housing First Pathfinder Programme runs until 31 March 2022, Homeless Network Scotland will continue to publish monthly trackers until this programme ends. Housing First tenancies which commenced as part of the pathfinder programme are not included in this report.

Key points

  • Over this reporting period it has taken an average of 142 days for a Housing First participant to move into a permanent tenancy from the referral date.
  • Residing within the 84 households were 86 adults and less than 5 children[1].  Additionally, 12 households had access to 13 children.
  • 87% of Housing First participants are receiving support from the Third and Independent Sector.

Diagram 1

A total of 84 new Housing First tenancies across 12 local authorities.

Diagram 2

68% male, 32% female

Diagram 3

67% LA Tenancy, 33% RSL

Housing First across Scotland

From responses received, the monitoring of Housing First and through analysis of local authority Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans, and associated returns to the Scottish Government from Scotland’s 32 local authorities, there are 21 local authorities operating a Housing First programme at 1 April 2021. A further six local authorities are currently developing Housing First programmes which are due to commence by 31 March 2022.

The remaining five local authorities are not currently planning on delivering a Housing First programme due to scale or delivery of an existing support programme in place.

Although there are 21 local authorities who have a Housing First programme in place, this monitoring report only captures data from 12 local authorities who provided data.  Information from the remaining nine other local authorities was not captured due to:

  • Six local authorities report that no new Housing First tenancies have commenced during this period.
  • No monitoring information was received from three local authorities.

The next monitoring report will capture data on new Housing First tenancies which commenced between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021, this is due to be published in November 2021. 

Tenancies commenced

84 new Housing First tenancies commenced across 12 local authorities during this quarter. All tenants have moved into a permanent tenancy and are not in temporary accommodation.

Table A: Total number of tenancies commenced in each local authority

Local Authority

Number of Tenancies







North Lanarkshire
















East Lothian


West Lothian


Residing within the 84 households were 86 adults and less than five children.  Additionally, 12 households had access to 13 children.

Information was gathered on whether or not households had a homelessness application (HL1) and/or Housing Options (PREVENT1) approach recorded.  Data show that 96.4% of Housing First participants had a homelessness application, and 89.2% had a Housing Options approach recorded.

Household characteristics

Data is based on the main Housing First participant.


Across the 84 tenancies, there are 57 males and 27 females.

Chart 1: The household composition of Housing First tenancies.

Single Male             65%

Single Female         26%

Single Parent          6%

Other                      2%

92% of Housing First households comprise of a single person.

There are 15 households with children / access to children.


Chart 2: Age of main Housing First participant at tenancy start date.

16 - 24          18%

25 – 34         23%

35 – 49 –      48%

50+               12%

As the number of Housing First participants grows across Scotland, a more detailed breakdown of youth Housing First participants may be possible.


The vast majority of Housing First participants are White Scottish.

Sexual orientation

Local authorities have been asked to collect information on the sexual orientation of the main Housing First participant. Due to this data not being collected in some local authorities and the potentially sensitive nature of this question, many responses have come back as unknown. As the data accounts for new Housing First tenancies commencing it can take time for participants to build up confidence with support workers to provide this information. Where this information is known, all participants have stated that their sexual orientation is heterosexual / straight.


Chart 3: Proportion of Housing First participants with a disability.

No                63%

Yes               14%

Don’t know / Prefer not to say       23%

The majority of Housing First participants reported that they do not have a disability. However, 23% of responses to this question are unknown/prefer not to say.

Housing First tenancy

The average length of time between participants being referred for Housing First support and being offered a permanent tenancy is 116 days across the 12 local authorities. The average time from referral to their permanent tenancy commencing is 142 days.

Of the 84 tenancies which commenced in this quarter, 67% were local authority (LA) tenancies, and 33% were provided by Registered Social Landlords (RSL).

Information received from some local authorities shows that in some areas temporary tenancies are ‘flipped’ into permanent Housing First tenancies. Housing First support has also been utilised as a homelessness prevention method in some local authority areas. This has contributed to bringing the average length of time down between the referral to Housing First and the permanent flipped / converted tenancy commencing.

As the number of Housing First tenancies across Scotland increases, a more detailed breakdown of average durations will be possible, on an individual local authority basis.

Referral Route

Chart 4: Referral route of Housing First participants

Homelessness Application                     43%

Area Housing Office                               20%

Other                                                     17%

Addiction Referral                                   11%

Third Sector                                           10%

Housing First Support

Local authorities were asked to record the support that each Housing First participant is currently receiving or has previously received. Due to the infancy of the monitoring for this cohort of Housing First participants, information on the previous support needs is limited at present and ‘current’ and ‘previous’ have been combined.  We expect this to become more robust over time and to be able to show the previous support needs separated out and also where support is required but not currently being provided. Chart 5 shows the number of participants who were recorded as having a current or previous support need across 19 categories.

Chart 5: Number of Housing First participants with support needs.

General Housing Support             84

Resettlement                                81

Upkeep of Tenancy                      80

Budgeting                                    78

Mental Health                              78

Safety/Security                            72

Accessing Benefits                       71

Drugs                                          65

Social Isolation                             59

Criminal Activity                           56

Physical Health                            52

Advocacy                                     44

Exploitation                                  42

Alcohol                                        41

Other                                           33

Literacy                                        24      

Sexual Health                              15

Learning Disability                        14

Personal Care                              4

Chart 6: Housing First participants with current multiple support needs.

Support 2-5 Areas   10%

Support 6-10 Areas 74%

Support 11+ Areas  18%

The data shows that all participants with a live tenancy have four or more support requirements, with nearly three quarters of people requiring between six and ten areas of support.

Chart 7: Housing First participants receiving support from each provider.

Third and Independent Sector                87%

Alcohol and Drugs Partnership               42%

Health and Social Care Partnership        40%

Mental Health Service                            37%

Other                                                     20%

Chart 7 shows a breakdown of the services involved in delivering support to Housing First tenancies.  As the number of Housing First participants grows across Scotland, a more detailed breakdown of the ‘Other’ category will be provided.

Chart 8: Housing First participants receiving support from multiple support providers.

1 Support Provider             44%

2 Support Providers           13%

3 Support Providers           24%

4 Support Providers           11%

5+ Support Providers         8%

Informal support was also provided for 31% of Housing First participants.

Chart 8 provides detail of the number of partners providing Housing First support, in 44% of Housing First tenancies support was provided solely by one provider, likely where a local authority has undertaken a procurement exercise to commission Housing First support from an external provider.

[1] Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5 for disclosure control purposes

Housing First monitoring report: year 1 quarter 1
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