Homeless persons in Scotland
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released statistics on the operation of the homeless persons legislation in Scotland, covering the period April to September 2011.
The publication provides detailed information about applications to local authorities for assistance under homelessness legislation, including the main reasons for homelessness, characteristics of applicant households and the assessments and outcomes of applications.
The release also includes information on households placed in temporary accommodation as a result of a homelessness application at December 31, 2011 and notifications of households at risk of homelessness due to eviction.
There were 23,796 applications, 20 per cent lower than the number of applications received in the same period in 2010 (i.e. April - September 2010).
The number of applications has fallen in 28 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.
There were 24,209 assessments and this was also 20 per cent lower than in the same period in 2010.
Just over three quarters (76 per cent) of applications were assessed as homeless or potentially homeless. This is the same proportion as a year earlier.
In progressing towards the 2012 homelessness target, 90 per cent of applicants assessed as homeless were accorded priority, an increase of three percentage points over the same period in 2010.
Between July and September 2011:
In nine council areas 100 per cent of homeless assessments were assessed as having a priority need. In a further 11 council areas, over 90 per cent of homeless assessments were assessed as having a priority need.
One local authority assessed 66 per cent of homeless assessments as having a priority need.
A total of 24,967 cases were closed between April – September 2011. This is 12 per cent lower than in the same period in 2010. The number of cases closed has fallen as a result of there being fewer applications overall. This reduction is less than the 20 per cent seen for applications as there is a lag between cases being opened and cases being closed.
64 per cent of unintentionally homeless households in priority need secured a local authority, housing association or private let as an outcome. This is the same proportion as in the same period in 2010.
Households in temporary accommodation
At 31 December 2011:-
There were 10,685 households in temporary accommodation - a decrease of 410 households (-4 per cent) compared to one year earlier.
There were 3,364 households with children in temporary accommodation – a decrease of 516 households (-13 per cent) compared with one year earlier. These households contained a total of 5,259 children, a decrease of 1,160 children (-18 per cent) compared to one year ago.
There were 15 households with children or pregnant women in bed and breakfast accommodation – the lowest number since recording began.
A total of 3 breaches of the Unsuitable Accommodation Order were reported – the lowest number on record. These breaches occurred in South Lanarkshire(1) and Fife(2).
Notifications of households at risk of homelessness due to eviction
Throughout 2011, local authorities have received around 4,000 notifications from creditors each quarter – double the rate seen in 2010.
Notifications from landlords have also increased slightly, but are much less marked.
The high level of notifications from creditors might be expected to lead to an increase in homelessness because of repossession of owner occupiers’ properties. However between April and September 2011 homelessness applications from owner occupiers citing mortgage default as the reason for their homelessness was 56 per cent lower than in the same period in 2010. The contrast between these two statistics may be due to continuing issues faced by creditors following a Supreme Court Judgement in November 2010. The Section 11 notifications section of this bulletin gives more details.