Operation of the homeless persons legislation in Scotland: quarters ending 30 June and 30 September 2011 (including households in temporary accommodation at 31 December 2011)

Statistics relating to the operation of the homeless persons legislation in Scotland: quarters ending 30 June and 30 September 2011, also including households in temporary accommodation as at 31 December 2011.


This Statistics release presents information on homelessness applications, assessments and outcomes up to the end of September 2011, as well as households in temporary accommodation and notifications of households at risk of homelessness due to eviction up to end December 2011. The report updates annual analyses for 2010-11 and earlier years, incorporating updated information received from councils since the last publication in August 2011. The information on numbers in temporary accommodation also includes numbers of households with children or a household member pregnant in unsuitable accommodation.

The purpose of this web only publication is to give an overview of key trends and features of homelessness applications in Scotland. Beginning with the September 2008 annual publication, a set of reference tables providing a wider and more detailed suite of analyses for Scotland and Scottish local authorities has been developed. The tables, together with guidance on the various sources of homelessness statistics, can be found by accessing a link on the web page below:

Main Points

The main points for the period April - September 2011 are:-


  • There were 23,796 applications, 20% lower than the number of applications received in the same period in 2010 (i.e. April - September 2010).
  • The number of applications has fallen in 28 out of Scotland's 32 local authorities.


  • There were 24,209 assessments and this was also 20% lower than in the same period in 2010.
  • Just over three quarters (76%) of applications were assessed as homeless or potentially homeless. This is the same proportion as a year earlier.
  • 90% of applicants assessed as homeless were accorded priority, an increase of three percentage points over the same period in 2010[1].
  • Between July and September 2011:
    • in nine council areas 100% of homeless assessments were assessed as having a priority need. In a further 11 council areas, over 90% of homeless assessments were assessed as having a priority need.
    • One local authority assessed 66% of homeless assessments as having a priority need.


  • A total of 24,967 cases were closed between April - September 2011. This is 12% lower than in the same period in 2010. The number of cases closed has fallen as a result of there being fewer applications overall. This reduction is less than the 20% seen for applications as there is a lag between cases being opened and cases being closed.
  • 64% of unintentionally homeless households in priority need secured a local authority, housing association or private let as an outcome. This is the same proportion as in the same period in 2010.

Temporary accommodation

At 31 December 2011:-

  • there were 10,685 households in temporary accommodation - a decrease of 410 households (-4%) compared to one year earlier.
  • there were 3,364 households with children in temporary accommodation - a decrease of 516 households (-13%) compared with one year earlier. These households contained a total of 5,259 children, a decrease of 1,160 children (-18%) compared to one year ago.
  • There were 15 households with children or pregnant women in bed and breakfast accommodation - the lowest number since recording began.
  • A total of 3 breaches of the Order were reported - the lowest number on record. These breaches occurred in South Lanarkshire(1) and Fife(2).

Section 11 notifications

  • Throughout 2011, local authorities have received around 4,000 notifications from creditors each quarter - double the rate seen in 2010.
  • Notifications from landlords have also increased slightly, but are much less marked.
  • The high level of notifications from creditors might be expected to lead to an increase in homelessness because of repossession of owner occupiers' properties. However between April and September 2011 homelessness applications from owner occupiers citing mortgage default as the reason for their homelessness was 56% lower than in the same period in 2010. The contrast between these two statistics may be due to continuing issues faced by creditors following a Supreme Court Judgement in November 2010. The Section 11 notifications section of this bulletin gives more details.


Email: Andrew Waugh

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