Housing First monitoring report: year two quarter two

Housing First quarterly monitoring: July-September 2022

Data collected by the Scottish Government confirms that an estimated 1,333 Housing First tenancies have started across Scotland at 30 September 2022.   This report captures data for Housing First tenancies which started from 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2022[1]. Prior to this date, data on Housing First tenancies in the pathfinder areas was independently assessed and published here.

Key points  

  • A total of 97 new Housing First tenancies started between 1 July and 30 September 2022. One further tenancy had begun between April 2021 and June  2022, which had not been captured in previous reports. This brings the total number of Housing First tenancies which started since 1 April 2021 to 516.
  • There are currently 486 Housing First tenancies.
  • 30 tenancies have ended (none ended in eviction)
  • 41 tenancies are in the ‘step down’ phase, and 11 are in the ‘stand down’ phase.[2]
  • Within the 486 Housing First tenancies, there are 496 adults and 53 children. Additionally, 60 households had access to 94 children but do not have full-time custody.
  • Between 1 April 2021 to 30 September 2022, it has taken an average of 207 days for a Housing First participant to move into a permanent tenancy from the referral date.
  • 28% of Housing First participants moved into their tenancy within 50 days.
  • 98% of Housing First households are single people.
  • 42% of participants are aged 35-49.
  • 68% of participants are receiving support from the third and independent sector.
  • 7 Housing First participants are employed on a full time or part time basis, and 7 work on a voluntary basis.

Housing First across Scotland

From responses received through the monitoring framework, 25 local authorities are operating a Housing First programme at 30 September 2022. A further two local authorities are currently developing Housing First programmes, due to start during 2022/23.

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 25 local authorities who are currently delivering Housing First.


97 new Housing First tenancies started across 20 local authorities between 1 July and 30 September 2022. An additional tenancy began between April 2021 and June 2022, which had not been previously captured in this monitoring framework. This brings the total number of Housing First tenancies started to 516 between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2022. All tenants are on a permanent tenancy and are not in temporary accommodation. 30 tenancies have now ended; 41 people have now moved into the ‘step down’ phase; and a further 11 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 30 September 2022 and latest quarterly return.

1 April 21 – 30 September 22                 1 July 22 – 30 September 22

Local Authority        Tenancies               Local Authority          Tenancies

Scotland                            516               Scotland                            97

Glasgow City                     67                 Renfrewshire                     16

Renfrewshire                     52                 Glasgow City                     14

Aberdeenshire                   49                 North Ayrshire                   9

North Lanarkshire              40                 North Lanarkshire              9

West Dunbartonshire         38                 Aberdeenshire                   6

North Ayrshire                   34                 Midlothian                          6

Midlothian                          33                 West Dunbartonshire           6

Dundee City                      23                 Dundee City                      5

City of Edinburgh               20                 City of Edinburgh               <5

Fife                                   20                 Fife                                   <5

Stirling                               18                 Moray                               <5

Aberdeen City                   18                 Stirling                               <5

Falkirk                               18                 Inverclyde                         <5

South Lanarkshire             16                 South Ayrshire                  <5

Inverclyde                          14                 South Lanarkshire             <5

South Ayrshire                   9                   Aberdeen City                   <5

Angus                                8                   Angus                               <5

Dumfries & Galloway         8                   East Ayrshire                     <5

West Lothian                     7                   Highland                            <5

East Ayrshire                     6                   West Lothian                     <5

Western Isles                    6                  

Scottish Borders                5                  

Moray                                <5 [3]              

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[4] 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 30 September 2022.


Across the 486 ‘live’, ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ tenancies, 64% of the main Housing First tenants are male and 36% are female[5]

Chart 1: The household composition of Housing First tenancies.

  • Single Male                       63%
  • Single Female                   32%
  • Single Parent- Female       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 486 households were 496 adults. Within 30 Housing First tenancies there are 53 children. Additionally, 60 households had access to 94 children but do not have full-time custody.


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

  • 16-17            2%
  • 18-24            18%
  • 25-34            26%
  • 35-49           42%
  • 50-64            12%

There are no Housing First participants over the age of 65.


Chart 3: Ethnicity of the main Housing First tenant

  • White Scottish         95.7%
  • Other British            2.7%
  • Other ethnic group   1.2%
  • White British          0.4%

The number of people reporting a ‘White Scottish’ ethnicity has risen by 3.2% compared with ‘White British’, which has fallen by 2.1% since the previous quarterly monitoring report.

Sexual orientation

Chart 4: Sexual orientation of the main Housing First tenant

  • Heterosexual/ Straight       53%
  • Don’t know                        34%
  • Prefer not to say                10%
  • 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 have decreased from 60% during the first quarterly report (April 2021 to June 2021), and has maintained around the mid forty percent during the last two quarters. 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                           67.5%
  • Yes                         23.3%
  • Don’t know              7.8%
  • Prefer not to say      1.4%

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 180 days across the 25 local authorities. This has increased from 177 days in the previous quarterly report. The average time from referral to their permanent tenancy has increased slightly in this reporting period from 201 to 207 days.

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

  • LA Tenancy  71%
  • RSL              26%
  • PRS              3%

Of the 486 ‘live’, ‘step down’ or ‘stand down’ tenancies, the proportion of local authority tenancies has decreased slightly from 72% to 71% 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. 17 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              27.8%
  • 51-100          15.8%
  • 101-150        10.9%
  • 151-200        9.1%
  • 201-250        7.4%
  • 251-300        6.8%
  • 301-350        4.7%
  • 351-450        5.8%
  • 451-550        2.1%
  • 551-650        1.9%
  • 651-750        2.3%
  • 751+             5.6%

Chart 7 shows that 27.8% of Housing First participants move into their tenancies within 50 days. This is a slight decrease from the previous quarter when 29% moved into their tenancy within 50 days. The proportion of participants waiting over 350 days has also continued to increase from 15% (April 2021 to March 2022) to 18% (April 2021 to June 2022) and has slightly reduced to 17.5% (April 2021– September 2022). 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 : Referral route of Housing First participants.

  • Homelessness application  55%
  • Area housing office           14%
  • Other                                11%
  • Addiction referral               6%
  • Criminal Justice System     6%
  • Third Sector                      4%
  • Prison                               3%
  • Through-care/ after-care    1%

Employment status

7 Housing First participants are currently employed on either a full time or part time basis. In addition, 7 participants currently undertake voluntary work.

Housing First support

The data for this section is based on the main Housing First participant in 434 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   97%
  • Resettlement                     91%
  • Budgeting                          90%
  • Upkeep of Tenancy            88%
  • Accessing Benefits            86%
  • Mental Health                    82%
  • Drugs                                75%
  • Safety/Security                  71%
  • Criminal Activity                 67%
  • Social Isolation                  67%
  • Advocacy                          56%
  • Physical Health                  51%
  • Alcohol                              51%
  • Exploitation                        41%
  • Literacy                             33%
  • Other                                 26%
  • Sexual Health                    20%
  • 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 7[6]  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                    7%
  • Drugs                                4%
  • Other                                 3%
  • Exploitation                        3%
  • Alcohol                              3%
  • Learning Disability             3%
  • Budgeting                          3%
  • Social Isolation                  3%
  • Physical Health                  2%
  • Advocacy                          2%
  • Upkeep of Tenancy            2%
  • Literacy                             2%
  • General Housing Support   2%
  • Personal Care                   1%
  • Sexual Health                    1%
  • Criminal Activity                 1%

Chart 10 Note: The ‘Other’ category includes Housing First participants who have unmet support needs across ‘Safety/ Security’, ‘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             11%
  • Support 6-10 Areas           47%
  • Support 11-15 Areas          38%
  • Support 16+ Areas             4%

Support intensity has slightly decreased from the last quarter, with three per cent fewer participants requiring six to ten areas of support, and three percent more participants requiring between eleven and fifteen areas of support.

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

  • Third and Independent Sector                           68%                       
  • Health and Social Care Partnerships                 58%                       
  • Alcohol and Drugs Partnership                          57%                       
  • Mental Health Service                                       40%                       
  • Other                                                               23%                       
  • Peer Support                                                    13%                       

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           3%
  • 1 Support Provider             30%
  • 2 Support Providers           15%
  • 3 Support Providers           21%
  • 4 Support Providers           16%
  • 5 Support Providers           11%
  • 6+ Support Providers         4%

Chart 13 note: Informal support was also provided for 42% of Housing First participants.

Chart 13 provides detail of the number of partners providing Housing First support. In 30% 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] Figures have been rounded to the nearest five for disclosure control purposes.

[4] 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.

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

[6] The previous Housing First Report – Year 2 Quarter 1 (April 2021 – June 22) the unsupported Mental Health figure was incorrectly listed as 2%, this should have been 5%.

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