Housing First monitoring report: year two quarter three

Housing First quarterly monitoring October to December 2022

This document is part of a collection

Housing First quarterly monitoring

October to December 2022 - edition 7

Data collected by the Scottish Government confirms that an estimated 1,403 Housing First tenancies have started across Scotland at 31 December 2022.[1]  This report captures data for Housing First tenancies which started from 1 April 2021 to 31 December 2022. Prior to this date, data on Housing First tenancies in the pathfinder areas was independently assessed and published here.

Key points

  • A total of 70 new Housing First tenancies started between 1 October and 31 December 2022. Four tenancies had begun prior to this period, which had not been captured in previous reports. This brings the total number of Housing First tenancies which started since 1 April 2021 to 586.
  • There are currently 547 Housing First tenancies:
    • 39 tenancies have ended (none ended in eviction).
  • 54 tenancies are in the ‘step down’ phase, and eight are in the ‘stand down’ phase.[2]
  • Within the 547 Housing First tenancies there are 557 adults and 60 children. Additionally, 66 households had access to 101 children but do not have full-time custody.
  • Between 1 April 2021 to 31 December 2022, it has taken an average of 234 days for a Housing First participant to move into a permanent tenancy from the referral date.
  • 19% of Housing First participants moved into their tenancy within 50 days.
  • 95% of Housing First households are single people.
  • 40% of participants are aged 35-49.
  • 66% of participants are receiving support from the third and independent sector.

Tenancy sustainment rates are currently not included in this report.  We are working towards the inclusion of figures in future publications.

Housing First across Scotland

From responses received through the monitoring framework, 26 local authorities are operating a Housing First programme at 31 December 2022. One more local authority is currently developing a Housing First programme.

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

This monitoring report captures Housing First tenancies which have begun across all 26 local authorities who are currently delivering Housing First.


70 new Housing First tenancies started across 22 local authorities between 1 October and 31 December 2022. Four tenancies had begun prior to this period, which had not been previously captured in this monitoring framework. This brings the total number of Housing First tenancies started to 586 between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2022. All tenants are on a permanent tenancy and are not in temporary accommodation. 39 tenancies have now ended; 54 people have now moved into the ‘step down’ phase; and a further eight are in the ‘stand down’ phase of Housing First.

Table A: Total number of tenancies started in each local authority between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2022 and latest quarterly return.

1 April 21 – 31 December 22                  1 October 22 – 31 December 22

Local Authority        Tenancies               Local Authority          Tenancies

Scotland                            586               Scotland                            70

Glasgow City                      76                 Glasgow City                     9

Renfrewshire                     60                 Renfrewshire                     8

Aberdeenshire                   54                 Fife                                    6

North Lanarkshire              44                 Aberdeenshire                    5

West Dunbartonshire         41                 City of Edinburgh               5

Midlothian                          37                 Dundee City                       <5

North Ayrshire                   37                 Midlothian                          <5

Dundee City                       27                 North Lanarkshire             <5

Fife                                    26                 Argyll & Bute                     <5

City of Edinburgh               25                 North Ayrshire                     <5

Stirling                               21                 Stirling                               <5

Aberdeen City                   19                 West Dunbartonshire        <5

Falkirk                                18                 East Lothian                       <5

South Lanarkshire             16                 Moray                               <5

Inverclyde                          14                 South Ayrshire                     <5

South Ayrshire                  11                 Aberdeen City                    <5

Angus                                9                  Angus                                <5

Dumfries & Galloway         9                  Dumfries & Galloway       <5

West Lothian                      8                  East Ayrshire                      <5

East Ayrshire                      7                  Western Isles                    <5

Western Isles                    7                  Highland                            <5

Moray                               6                  West Lothian <5

Scottish Borders                5                  

Argyll & Bute                      <5                

Highland                           <5                

East Lothian                       <5                

Information was gathered on whether or not households had a homelessness application (HL1) and/or Housing Options (PREVENT1) approach recorded. Data shows that 94% of Housing First participants had a homelessness application, and 73% had a Housing Options[3] approach recorded.

Household characteristics

The data for this section is based on the main Housing First participant in ‘live’, ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ tenancies which began between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2022.


Across the 547 ‘live’, ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ tenancies, 64% of the main Housing First tenants are male and 36% are female.[4]

Chart 1: The household composition of Housing First tenancies.

Single Male                       63%

Single Female                   32%

Single Parent                     3%

Other                                 1%

Couple                               1%

Chart 1 note: 95% of Housing First households are single people. ‘Single Parent’ includes both Male and Female data.

Residing within the 547 households were 557 adults. Within 33 Housing First tenancies there are 60 children. Additionally, 66 households had access to 101 children but do not have full-time custody.


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

16-17            3%

18-24            19%

25-34            27%

35-49           40%

50-64            12%

Chart 2 note: There are no Housing First participants over the age of 65.


Chart 3: Ethnicity of the main Housing First tenant

White Scottish         93%

Other British            5%

Other ethnic group   1%

Sexual orientation
Chart 4: Sexual orientation of the main Housing First tenant

Heterosexual/ Straight       52%

Don’t know                        34%

Prefer not to say                11%

Gay/Lesbian                      2%

Bi-Sexual                           1%

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 were initially recorded as unknown as participants build up confidence with support workers to provide this information. The proportion of ‘Don’t know’ or ‘Prefer not to say’ responses has decreased since the first quarterly report (April 2021 to June 2021). This overall decrease may be testament to the continued development of relationships with Housing First support staff.


Chart 5: Proportion of Housing First participants with a disability.

No                           66.2%

Yes                         24.1%

Don’t know              8.4%

Prefer not to say      1.3%

Housing First tenancies

For tenancies which have begun since 1 April 2021, the average length of time between participants being referred for Housing First support and being offered a permanent tenancy is 208 days across the 26 local authorities. This has increased from 180 days in the previous quarterly report. The average time from referral to permanent tenancy has increased in this reporting period from 207 to 234 days.

Chart 6: Tenancy type of ‘live’, ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ tenancies

LA Tenancy  69%

RSL              28%

PRS              3%

Of the 547 ‘live’, ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ tenancies, the proportion of local authority tenancies has decreased slightly from 71% to 69% over the last reporting period. Registered social landlords (RSLs) have provided a steady proportion of Housing First tenancies, around a quarter of all tenancies over the last three reporting periods. 16 tenancies have begun in either the private rented sector (PRS) or ‘Other’, representing three per cent of the total number of tenancies.

Chart 7: Banded national average in days to access a permanent tenancy from referral date

0-50              19.6%

51-100          16.6%

101-150        11.8%

151-200        10.7%

201-250        8.2%

251-300        7.6%

301-350        6.3%

351-450        6.3%

451-550        2.5%

551-650        2.1%

651-750        2.5%

751+             5.9%

Chart 7 shows that 19.6% of Housing First participants move into their tenancies within 50 days. This is a significant decrease from the previous quarter when 27.8% moved into their tenancy within 50 days. The proportion of participants waiting over 350 days has also continued to increase from 15% (April 21 to March 22) to 18% (April 21 to June 22) to 19.4% (April 21 to December 22). This average has been calculated on a national basis due to the small number of tenancies in some local authority areas at present.

Referral route

Chart 8: Referral route of Housing First participants.

Homelessness application  56%

Area housing office           13%

Other                                11%

Addiction referral               6%

Criminal Justice System     5%

Third Sector                      4%

Prison                               3%

Through-care/ after-care    1%

Housing First support

The data for this section is based on the main Housing First participant in 485 tenancies where support continues to be provided, and the tenancy is ‘live’. This excludes tenancies which are in the ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ phase.

Local authorities were asked to record the support that each Housing First participant is currently receiving or has previously received. Given the small numbers in a number of categories, information on ‘current’ and ‘previous’ support needs have been combined for disclosure control purposes. We expect this to become more robust over time and to be able to separate out previous support needs.

Chart 9: Proportion of Housing First participants with support needs.

General Housing Support   96%

Budgeting                          89%

Resettlement                      88%

Upkeep of Tenancy            86%

Accessing Benefits            85%

Mental Health                    80%

Drugs                                73%

Safety/Security                  71%

Social Isolation                  68%

Criminal Activity                65%

Advocacy                          56%

Alcohol                               50%

Physical Health                  49%

Exploitation                        40%

Literacy                             33%

Other                                 26%

Sexual Health                    19%

Personal Care                   10%

Learning Disability             8%

Chart 9 shows the proportion 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. Proportionally fewer Housing First participants have an unmet support need across learning disability and literacy, but eight per cent of  participants require mental health support which is not provided. However, as the number of participants who have an unmet support need increases above five, we are able to give a more detailed breakdown of the areas which are lacking in support provision, as shown in Chart 10.

Chart 10: Proportion of Housing First participants with support needs which are not catered for.

Mental Health                    8.0%

Exploitation                        4.3%

Other                                 3.7%

Drugs                                3.3%

Learning Disability             3.1%

Budgeting                          2.9%

Upkeep of Tenancy            2.7%

Physical Health                  2.5%

Alcohol                              2.1%

Criminal Activity                 2.1%  

Literacy                             1.9%

Social Isolation                  1.6%

Advocacy                          1.6%

Sexual Health                    1.6%

Personal Care                   1.2%

Safety/Security                  1.0%

General Housing Support   1.0%

Chart 10 Note: The ‘Other’ category includes Housing First participants who have unmet support needs across ‘Accessing Benefits’, ‘Resettlement’ and ‘Other’ categories. Due to the small numbers within each area, we are unable to provide a more detailed breakdown.

Chart 11: Housing First participants with current multiple support needs.

Support 1-5 Areas             12%

Support 6-10 Areas           48%

Support 11-15 Areas          36%

Support 16+ Areas             4%

Chart 12: Housing First participants receiving support from each provider.

Third and Independent Sector                           66%                       

Health and Social Care Partnerships                 56%                       

Alcohol and Drugs Partnership                          55%                       

Mental Health Service                                       38%                       

Other                                                               20%                       

Peer Support                                                    12%                       

Chart 12 shows a breakdown of the services involved in delivering support to Housing First tenancies. When compared to the data reported in the previous quarter, ‘Mental Health Services’ are involved in the care of comparatively fewer Housing First participants. Similarly, ‘Peer Support’ is in place for comparatively fewer Housing First participants where with Alcohol and Drugs, Health and Social Care there has been a slight increase.  As the number of Housing First participants grows across Scotland, a more detailed breakdown of the ‘other’ category will be provided.

Chart 13: Housing First participants receiving support from multiple support providers.

0 Support Providers           5%

1 Support Provider             27%

2 Support Providers           14%

3 Support Providers           19%

4 Support Providers           13%

5 Support Providers           8%

6+ Support Providers         3%

Chart 13 note: Informal support was also provided for 37% of Housing First participants.

Chart 13 provides detail of the number of partners providing Housing First support. In 27% 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. Three per cent of participants were recorded as having no support provider. However, a proportion receive informal support.


[1] Housing First tenancies which started as part of the Housing First Pathfinder programme from September 2021 have been included in this figure.

[2] The ‘step down’ process involves agreement from the tenant and lead support worker that support is no longer required and a regular check-up process is agreed so that support can re-engage if required. The ‘stand down’ stage occurs when Housing First support is no longer required.

[3] Housing Options is a process, which starts with housing advice when someone approaches a local authority with a housing problem. This means looking at an individual's options and choices in the widest sense.

[4] This figure includes less than five tenants who have an ‘other’  gender identify.

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