Applications down ten per cent for ‘homelessness assistance’

THERE were almost 17,000 applications for ‘homelessness assistance’ in Scotland during the six months between April 1 2020 and September 30 the same year.

Figures issued – here – by Scotland’s Chief Statistician – which will have been “impacted by the measures taken to protect people during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic” – reveal that the exact figure of 16,997 applications for homelessness assistance represented a decrease of ten per cent (1,914) compared with the same six-month period the previous year, 2019.

Among other findings:

  • There were 16,568 assessments made, with 13,645 (82 per cent) of applicants being assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness. This was a decrease of 14 per cent (2,215) compared with the same period in 2019;
  • While the number of applications fell, there was also a reduction in the number of cases closed. As a result, the number of open homelessness cases at September 30 2020 reached 27,332, a 20 per cent increase on the figure from September 30 2019;
  • There were 14,151 households in temporary accommodation as at 30 September 2020. This was a 24 per cent increase on September 30 2019;
  • There was a notable decrease in households becoming homeless from a private rented tenancy: ten per cent of households assessed as homeless in this period gave this as their previous accommodation type, compared with 17 per cent in the same period in 2019;
  • There was an increase in the proportion of households becoming homeless from the family home (30 per cent compared with 24 per cent) and from living with friends or partners (22 per cent compared with 18 per cent);
  • Compared with 2019, there were a higher proportion of applicants who were single males (50 per cent compared with 44 per cent), 18-24 years-old (22 per cent compared with 20 per cent) and of White Scottish ethnicity (78 per cent compared with 75 per cent);
  • There was also a 99 per cent increase in the number of households in bed and breakfast accommodation: 1,414 households (ten per cent) were in B&B accommodation at September 30 2020 compared with 710 (six per cent) in 2019; and
  • Some 9,920 cases assessed as ‘homeless’ or ‘threatened with homelessness’ were closed in the period April to September 2020 – a fall of 30 per cent compared with 2019.

Pictured: Homelessness charity, Streetwork (Simon Community Scotland), Edinburgh

Picture credit: PlaceDesignScotland