Housing First monitoring report: year one quarter two

Housing First quarterly monitoring: July-Sept 2021

This document is part of a collection

This report updates data captured for the monitoring of Housing First tenancies to include those started in Scotland from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 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 started as part of the pathfinder programme are not included in this report.

Key points

  • A total of 61 new Housing First tenancies started between 1 July and 30 September 2021. This brings the total number of Housing First tenancies which started since 1 April 2021 to 156.
  • Residing within the 156 households were 157 adults and fewer than five children[1]. Additionally, 21 households had access to 27 children but do not have full-time custody.
  • Between 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2021 it has taken an average of 141 days for a Housing First participant to move into a permanent tenancy from the referral date.
  • 76% of Housing First participants are receiving support from the Third and Independent Sector.

Diagram 1

72% male, 28% female

Diagram 2

68% LA Tenancy, 32% RSL

Housing First across Scotland

From responses received through the monitoring of Housing First and analysis of local authority Rapid Rehousing Transition Plans and associated returns to the Scottish Government, there are 23 local authorities operating a Housing First programme at 30 September 2021. A further four local authorities are currently developing Housing First programmes which are due to start 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 23 local authorities who have a Housing First programme in place, this monitoring report only captures data from 20 local authorities. Two local authorities who have not provided data are delivering tenancies solely through the Housing First pathfinder programme at present. One local authority who has started their Housing First programme in this reporting period does not have a Housing First tenant in a permanent tenancy.

The next monitoring report will capture data on new Housing First tenancies which started between 1 October 2021 and 31 December 2021. This is due to be published in February 2022.

Tenancies commenced

Whilst the data presented within the first quarterly monitoring report captured 84 new Housing First tenancies across 12 local authorities, additional data gathered has shown that an additional 11 tenancies began between 1 April and 30 June 2021. This brings the total number of tenancies which began during the first quarter to 95, across 15 local authorities.

61 new Housing First tenancies started across 18 local authorities between 1 July and 30 September bringing the total number of Housing First tenancies to 156. All tenants have moved into a permanent tenancy and are not in temporary accommodation. One of the tenancies has now ended, meaning there are currently 155 live tenancies.

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

Local Authority Number of tenancies





North Lanarkshire






West Dunbartonshire






Dundee City




North Ayrshire




East Ayrshire


East Lothian






South Ayrshire


South Lanarkshire <5



West Lothian <5

Western Isles


Information was gathered on whether or not households had a homelessness application (HL1) and/or Housing Options (PREVENT1) approach recorded. Data shows that 96% of Housing First participants had a homelessness application, and 76% had a Housing Options approach recorded.

Data is based on the main Housing First participant in live tenancies only which began between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021.

Household characteristics


Across the 155 live tenancies, there are 111 male and 44 female main applicants.

Chart 1: The household composition of Housing First tenancies.

Single Male             70%

Single Female         24%

Other                      6%

94% of Housing First households comprise of a single person.

Residing within the 155 households were 156 adults and fewer than five children. Additionally, 21 households had access to 27 children, however do not have full-time custody.


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

16 – 17         3%

18 - 24          17%

25 – 34         22%

35 – 49         45%

50+               13%

Male participants account for the vast majority of the over 50 age cohort. 27% of female participants were aged between 16 and 24, compared to 18% of male participants.


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 starting 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                65%

Yes               18%

Don’t know / Prefer not to say       16%

The majority of Housing First participants reported that they do not have a disability. However, 16% of responses to this question are unknown/prefer not to say.

Housing First Tenancies

For tenancies which began during quarter 1 and 2, the average length of time between participants being referred for Housing First support and being offered a permanent tenancy is 141 days across the 20 local authorities. This has increased from 116 days in the previous quarterly report where data was only available from 12 local authorities. The average time from referral to their permanent tenancy starting has also increased from 142 to 165 days.

Of the 155 live tenancies, 68% were local authority tenancies, and 32% were provided by registered social landlords.

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 starting.

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 49%

Area Housing Office 25%

Other  14%

Addiction Referral  8%

Third Sector 7%

Prison 3%

Criminal Justice System 3%

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.

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

General Housing Support             155

Resettlement                                149

Upkeep of Tenancy                      143

Budgeting                                    141

Mental Health                              134

Accessing Benefits                       128

Drugs                                          123

Safety/Security                            119

Criminal Activity                           109

Social Isolation                             108

Physical Health                            85

Advocacy                                     81

Alcohol                                        80

Exploitation                                  71

Other                                           57

Literacy                                        49      

Sexual Health                              28

Learning Disability                        19

Personal Care                              12

Chart 5 shows the number of participants who were recorded as having a current or previous support need across 19 categories.

Local authorities were also asked to record areas where support was required, but not provided for Housing First participants across the same 19 categories. Table B shows the number of participants who have needs which are not currently being supported.

Table B: Total number of Housing First participants who have needs which are not currently being supported.

Support requirement

Number of Tenants not receiving support

Sexual Health


Mental Health








Physical Health


Learning Disability


Social Isolation




Criminal Activity


Safety/ Security




Personal Care


Upkeep of Tenancy




















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

Support 6-10 Areas 48%

Support 11+ Areas  44%

The data shows that nearly half of people require between six and ten areas of support, with 44% of people requiring over 11 areas of support.

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

Third and Independent Sector                76%

Health and Social Care Partnership        50%

Alcohol and Drugs Partnership               47%

Mental Health Service                            37%

Other                                                     20%

Peer Support                                          13%

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             39%

2 Support Providers           12%

3 Support Providers           19%

4 Support Providers           15%

5 Support Providers           10%

6+ Support Providers         4%

Informal support was also provided for 40% of Housing First participants.

Chart 8 provides detail of the number of partners providing Housing First support, in 39% 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. Fewer than five Housing First participants do not have a support provider, although the majority of people do receive informal support.

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

Housing First monitoring report July-Sept 2021
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