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Homelessness and Housing Options Statistics Published

Published: 12 Jan 2016 09:30
Part of:

A National and Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scottish Local Authorities received around 12,400 approaches to their Housing Options services during July to September 2015, a reduction of over a fifth (21%) compared to the same period one year ago.

There were reductions in both homelessness applications and in the numbers assessed as homeless or likely to become homeless within two months. The proportion of direct homeless applications (that is, those not going through a Housing Options service first) increased by eleven percentage points. However, the number of households in temporary accommodation increased, particularly households with children.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today released the following two publications:

  • Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics in Scotland: 1 April 2014 to 30 Sept 2015
  • Homelessness in Scotland - Quarterly update: 1 July to 30 Sept 2015.

In terms of Housing Options, comparing July to September 2015 with the same period one year ago, 25 of 32 Local Authorities have seen a reduction in approaches.

For approaches closed during July to September 2015, just under half (45%) made a homelessness application, 25% remained in their current accommodation and 14% found alternative accommodation. Alternative accommodation included a social rented tenancy (4%), a private rented tenancy (4%) and moving in with family and friends (2%). Other known outcomes accounted for a further 4%. However, 16% of closed approaches had an unknown outcome or contact was lost. The mix of outcomes varies considerably by Local Authorities.

As at 30 September 2015, there were just over 14,300 Housing Options approaches which had not yet been concluded (17% of all approaches received since 1 April 2014), with considerable variation across Local Authorities. Half of these approaches had remained open for more than four months.

In terms of homelessness, Scottish Local Authorities received around 8,800 homelessness applications during July to September 2015, 6% lower than in the same period in 2014. The proportion of direct homelessness applications - that is, those not going through Housing Options first - increased by 11 percentage points, from 36% during July to September 2014 to 47% during July to September 2015.

During July to September 2015, 7,400 cases were assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness– 4% lower than one year before. Not all of these cases necessarily made their homelessness application in the same quarter.

There were just under 10,600 households in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2015, an increase of 2% (239 households) compared to one year before. Households with children increased by 158 households (6%) and the total number of children in temporary increased by 370 children (+8%) compared to 30 September 2014.

Outcomes for those entitled to settled accommodation were maintained, with around four out of five securing settled accommodation – including a Local Authority, housing association or private let as an outcome. This proportion has remained stable since 2007.

The figures released today were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

The full statistical publications are available at:

Homelessness in Scotland - Quarterly update: 1 July to 30 Sept 2015 is a National Statistics publication. It provides information on homelessness applications, assessments and outcomes in the period up to 30 September 2015. It also provides snapshot data on households in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2015 together with data on the implementation of the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014.

Housing Options (PREVENT1) Statistics in Scotland: 1 April 2014 to 30 Sept 2015 gives an overview of key trends and features of Housing Options work in Scotland over the eighteen months from 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2015. These statistics are being published as experimental statistics in order to involve users and stakeholders in their development and as a means to build in quality at an early stage. These official statistics have not yet been assessed by the UK Statistics Authority and have therefore not been designated as National Statistics at this stage.

Housing Options has been described as 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. This approach may feature early intervention and explores a range of possible tenure options, including council housing, RSLs and the private rented sector. The advice can also cover personal circumstances which may not necessarily be housing related, such as debt advice, mediation and mental health issues.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: