Operation of the homeless persons legislation in Scotland: quarters ending 30 June and 30 September 2007 (including households in temporary accommodation at 31 December 2007)

Routine homelessness statistics update to September 2007

Notes on tables

14. The data presented in these tables are based on the time period relevant to the analysis. In some cases this might be the year of application, while in others this might relate to the year in which the assessment was made or action taken. All years refer to financial years.

15. To facilitate comparisons between authorities, some of the local authority tables are presented in the form of percentages. However, where the number of applications is small the percentage figures should be treated with caution.

16. Unless otherwise stated, the assessment category of 'homeless' includes both homeless and potentially homeless, as well as unintentional and intentional homeless. Although the focus of the current legislative changes is on providing settled accommodation to those assessed as unintentionally homeless, the proportion of applications assessed as intentionally homeless and in priority need is relatively small. This category has therefore been combined with that of unintentionally homeless and in priority need for the more complex analyses.

17. In December 2001, the Scottish Executive changed the data collection system for the case-based HL1 return to provide more detailed information on applications by individual households and to allow more timely reporting. This entailed changing to an electronic data capture system which allows cases to be registered and updated on a continuous basis, as well as enabling applications made by the same household to be linked.

18. The data collection system introduced in December 2001 allows analysis by individual households and the identification of repeat applications. However, this is not the case for earlier data and so analyses comparing data over time will tend to refer to applications rather than individual households. This is also the case for analyses of flow through the assessment process where repeat applications by the same individual household might be assessed differently and have different outcomes. For other analyses it is useful to distinguish individual households and so the unit of analysis (applications or individual households) is specified in the footnotes for each table.

19. The data collection was further revised in April 2007 in the light of the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003, with some additional information included to reflect current best practice. Further information on the HL1 can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/15257/HL1revisions.

20. The figures on households in temporary accommodation relate to households which have been placed in temporary accommodation by a local authority under the Homeless Persons legislation. This will include households for whom the local authority's decision and final action is still pending, as well as households which were secured such accommodation as a final action by the authority under the legislation. The data provide a snapshot picture of the numbers in temporary accommodation as at the last day of each quarter and are collected in the summary HL2 return.

21. Hostels, as temporary accommodation under the homeless persons legislation, were used mainly by Glasgow. In fact, almost all households in hostels in Glasgow were placed there by the authority under the Homeless Persons legislation. In other authorities, particularly in the cities, there are many households in hostels that have not been placed there by the local authority under the Homeless Persons legislation. Consequently, they are not recorded in the statistics.

22. In June 2005, the HL2 return was revised in order to monitor the implementation of the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2004. The revised return records the number of households with children or pregnant women in temporary accommodation as at the end of the quarter, the number of those in unsuitable accommodation as defined by the Order, and the number of those in accommodation which breaches the Order. Not all use of unsuitable accommodation is in breach of the Order as such use may be allowed under exceptional circumstances as defined in the Order (see summary of legislation below), and therefore the focus of this release is on actual breaches rather than all instances of use of unsuitable accommodation where exceptions may apply. The latter figure provides a useful process measure to assess implementation in practice. To put the figures into the context, as at 30 June, 30 September and 31 December 2007 there were respectively 103, 81 and 58 instances of use of unsuitable accommodation. On the whole, the Order was actually breached in around half of cases.

23. The following symbols are used in all tables:




less than half the final digit shown (less than: 0.5%, 50 for figures rounded to nearest 100, or 5 for figures rounded to nearest 10)


not available.

24. Figures which have been revised for this issue (as well as all percentages) are shown in italic type. In some tables, where figures have been rounded, the total shown may not equal the sum of its constituent parts. The live nature of the current electronic system used for the case-based HL1 returns will result in figures being revised as data are updated, and current figures may differ from those previously published.

25. Additional tables may be obtained from the Housing Statistics branch on request. Housing statistics publications are available in the published data section of the Housing Statistics reference website http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Housing-Regeneration/Publications.

Back to top