Homelessness in Scotland

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The Scottish parliament passed the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act 2003 which has an aim of ensuring that by 2012 everyone assessed as being unintentionally homeless will be entitled to permanent accommodation. In addition, the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order came into force in December 2004 and requires councils to ensure that pregnant women and households with children are not placed in unsuitable temporary accommodation, unless there are exceptional circumstances.[1]

According to Shelter,[2] in 2010-11, 55,227 households made homeless applications to their local council in Scotland. This is a 2.5 per cent decrease on the number of households who made homeless applications in 2009-10. Of these, 41,553 households were accepted by their local authority as homeless or potentially homeless, and 36,440 of those households were assessed as in priority need. The number of households accepted as homeless or potentially homeless has increased by 25 per cent since 2000-2001 according to Shelter.[3] There are various organisations which have been set up in order to combat homelessness and poverty in Scotland such as Glasgow Needy, Glasgow City Misson. These organisation offer food to the homeless as they are touched by deprivation of poverty.

The main reasons why people become homeless in Scotland are:

  • dispute within household - 28%
  • asked to leave accommodation - 26%
  • as a result of action by landlord or lender - 13%
  • harassment or non-domestic violence - 5%
  • discharge from hospital, prison or care - 5%

In 2015/16 from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016, there were 28,226 households assessed as homeless from 34,662 applications,[4] down 4% from the same period in 2014/2015. Government data is available within these statistics which shows the main reasons for homelessness applicants cited, chosen from a selection with the option to cite multiple reasons.

Cause of Homelessness 2007-8 2008-9 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
Not to do with applicant household (e.g. landlord selling property, fire,

circumstances of other persons sharing previous property, harassment by others, etc)
49% 47% 48% 52% 51% 50% 47% 43% 44%
Mental health reasons 10% 9% 8% 8% 9% 10% 13% 17% 29%
Lack of support from friends/ family 19% 21% 22% 19% 18% 15% 15% 18% 18%
Financial difficulties/ debt/ unemployment 21% 22% 21% 20% 20% 23% 20% 17% 16%
Drug/ alcohol dependency 13% 12% 11% 11% 12% 13% 14% 16% 15%
Criminal/ anti-social behaviour 8% 9% 9% 9% 11% 12% 14% 13% 13%
Difficulties managing on own 6% 5% 5% 6% 6% 6% 7% 8% 9%
Physical health reasons 5% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4% 5% 8% 8%
Unmet need for support from housing/ social work/ health services 4% 4% 3% 3% 2% 2% 3% 4% 4%

See also[edit]

History:

General:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Homelessness statistics in Scotland:2006-07 > Part 1 The Scottish Government Publications, accessed March 30th 2008
  2. ^ [1] Shelter, August 2011
  3. ^ [2] Shelter, August 2011
  4. ^ [3] Homelessness in Scotland: Annual Update 2015/2016

External links[edit]