Record high reported in homelessness numbers

THE number of people classified as ‘homeless’ at the end of September last year was at its highest since such data began to be collected in 2002.

Says the Scottish Government’s chief statistician, here, the number of so-called ‘open cases’ increased by 11 per cent – to 28,944 on September 30 2022 – compared to the same date the previous year, 2021 (25,990).

Among other findings:

  • There were 19,066 applications for homelessness assistance, between April and September last year, a six per cent increase (in other words, 1,074) on the same six-months period in 2021 and higher than the 2019 pre-pandemic figure of 18,913;
  • There were 15,414 households assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness. This is an increase of six per cent (828) on the same six-month period in 2021, and slightly below 15,877 in 2019;
  • There were 14,458 households and 9,130 children in temporary accommodation on September 30 2022. This is an one per cent increase compared with 14,251 households and a ten per cent increase compared with 8,285 children on September 30 2021;
  • Homelessness from a private rented tenancy accounted for 19 per cent of homeless households. This has increased from ten per cent in 2020 and 14 per cent in 2021 and is now higher than the 17 per cent in 2019;
  • There were 1,184 applications that reported a household member experiencing rough sleeping in the three months before the application was made, and 733 the night before. This an increase compared to the same period in 2021; however, as a percentage of all applications these are the same as in 2021; and
  • The proportion of households who secured settled accommodation having been assessed as unintentionally homeless was 83 per cent, the same as 2021.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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