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Homelessness rises by 4% in Scotland in 2019-2020 - Crisis response 

Today (Thursday 27 August) new statistics have shown that 31,333 households were assessed as homeless in Scotland between April 2019 – March 2020, which is a 4% rise from the same period in the previous year. 

The stats also showed: 

  • 51% (15,991) households have at least one support need which is a 9% increase from 2018/19. The most common support need identified is mental health (27% of households) but there has been a 17% increase in support needs related to physical disability.  
  • 2,884 households had slept rough in the last three months prior to their application. This is 1% decrease from 2018/19. 
  • 15% of households (4,780) seen in 2019/20 had been homeless previously within the last five years

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “Today’s figures demonstrate the urgency of action needed to prevent any further increase in the numbers of people becoming homeless, even before the economic consequences of the pandemic have their full impact. 

“The current public health emergency has reinforced the importance of everyone having a safe home. We’ve seen brilliant action taken by national and local government and their partners during the emergency to protect everyone experiencing homelessness, reflecting Scotland’s commitment to ending homelessness.  

“Yet these statistics show homelessness continuing to rise and many people becoming homeless repeatedly. In line with the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group’s recommendations, it is vital that Scottish Government continues to build on the progress made throughout the pandemic by putting in place measures to prevent people becoming homeless. As part of this, we need all public bodies working together so that no one is left without somewhere safe and secure to call home.”