This statistics bulletin provides information on Housing Options services in Scotland in the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020.
It includes information on the number of approaches made, as well as details on the reasons for the approaches made, the activities undertaken, and the outcomes achieved.
The statistics in this publication are based on administrative data collected by local authorities in the course of providing Housing Options services that are available when households seek assistance for housing-related issues.
This bulletin focusses on data at a national level, however, local authority breakdowns are available in an Excel workbook, containing tables and charts and which can be downloaded: https://www.gov.scot/collections/homelessness-statistics/
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These are designated as experimental statistics, defined in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics as "new official statistics undergoing evaluation”.
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All tables and charts from this publication are available online at: https://www.gov.scot/collections/homelessness-statistics/
This year’s publication has introduced a number of changes compared to previous publications. The analysis has been significantly shortened with discussion focused mainly on national trends due to differences in how local authorities implement Housing Options (although data for local authorities is provided in the accompanying tables). Figures have been presented by financial year, where previously quarterly figures were produced. These changes have been introduced following consultation with stakeholders including local authorities through the Homelessness Statistics User Group and the Scottish Government homelessness policy team.
A Quick Guide to Housing Options
Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure advice and information is available free of charge about:
(a) homelessness and the prevention of homelessness, and
(b) any services which may assist a homeless person or assist in the prevention of homelessness
When households seek assistance for housing-related issues from their local authority, they may be presented with advice on a range of housing options, including the opportunity to make a homelessness application. This is known as Housing Options and began to be implemented from around 2009.
The aim of this approach is to make households better informed of their options for accommodation, and ensure they are able to make a more informed choice.
However, it is important to note that Housing Options is not a statutory function, but local authorities can use it in the delivery of their statutory duties.
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