Slight rise noted in Scots homelessness applications

BETWEEN April and September last year, there were 17,447 applications for ‘homelessness assistance’, representing a two per cent (278) increase compared with the same six-month period in 2020, and a decrease of eight per cent (1,466) compared with the same period in 2019.

Says an announcement (here) from the Scottish Government’s chief statistician: “There were 17,372 assessments made, with 14,161 (82 per cent) being assessed as homeless or threatened with homelessness. This was an increase of three per cent (348) on the same six-month period in 2020, and a decrease of 11 per cent (1,714) on the same period in 2019. 

“Conversely there was a reduction in the number of open cases, which was 26,001 on 30 September 2021, a four per cent decrease compared with the 27,037 on 30 September 2020, when open cases were at their peak.

“There were 13,192 households in temporary accommodation on 30 September 2021. This was a seven per cent decrease compared with the peak of 14,151 on September 30 2020, but an increase of one per cent compared with the figure on March 31 2021.”

Among other findings:

  • In 34 per cent of all cases reported, household disputes were given as a reason for homelessness. This is a decrease from 38 per cent in the same six-month period in 2020, but remains higher than the 31 per cent in the same period in 2019. The proportion of people becoming homeless after fleeing domestic abuse was five per cent, having risen from four per cent compared with the same six-month period in 2020 and stayed broadly the same over the same period in the year before. The same is true for harassment, which increased from two per cent to three per cent in 2021, having stayed at a similar level in 2019;
  • There was an increase in the number of households becoming homeless from a private rented tenancy – 14 per cent of homeless households between April 1 to September 30 2021, compared with ten per cent in the same period in 2020, but lower than 17 per cent in the same period in 2019;
  • There were 1,078 applications that reported a household member experiencing rough sleeping in the three months before the application was made, and 690 the night before. These remain lower than pre-pandemic figures (1,415 and 825 respectively in 2019).  However, there have been recent increases in reported rough sleeping. The number of households were someone had slept rough in the three months before the application rose from 509 in April to June 2021 to 569 in July to September 2021. The number of those who had slept rough the night before increased from 294 in January to March 2021 to 363 in July to September 2021; and
  • The proportion of households who secured settled accommodation having been assessed as unintentionally homeless increased from 78 per cent to 82 per cent.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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