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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Question ref. S6W-05290
Asked by: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 20 December 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) individuals and (b) families are living in accommodation that is subject to an Unsuitable Accommodation Order, broken down by local authority area.

Current status: Answered by Shona Robison on 24 January 2022


Answer

Scotland’s strong homelessness rights mean households are placed in temporary accommodation as a legal right, with three quarters of families with children in temporary accommodation housed in social housing. Temporary accommodation should always be a short term option, and local authorities are working hard to ensure people have the appropriate support and move as rapidly as possible into settled accommodation.

The Scottish Government collects information on individual temporary accommodation placements and whether or not they are unsuitable, as defined by the Homeless Persons (Unsuitable Accommodation) (Scotland) Order 2014.

Temporary exceptions were put in place to allow local authorities to provide households with accommodation in response to COVID-19. The legislation noted that a placement was not considered unsuitable if:

  • a person in the household has symptoms of coronavirus and the household requires to isolate; or
  • the accommodation is required to provide temporary accommodation to ensure that a distance of 2 metres can be maintained between a member of the household and a person who is not a member of the household; or
  • the local authority is unable to place the household in suitable accommodation as a result of the impacts of coronavirus on temporary accommodation supply in the area, provided that where a household includes a child or a pregnant woman the household is not placed in unsuitable accommodation for more than 7 days.

(To note: the first two of these were introduced in May 2020 and the third in September 2020.)

It is possible that local authorities applied the COVID-19 exceptions in different ways, which may impact upon comparability in data reporting and the figures in the below table.

A household placed in unsuitable accommodation where an exception did not apply must still be recorded as an unsuitable accommodation placement.

The most recent data available is up to 31 March 2021. The following table shows snapshot data of the number of individuals and households in unsuitable temporary accommodation as at 31 March 2021, defined as above.

In the absence of a definition of ‘families’, this has been taken to mean any household with children.

The Scottish Government collects information on the composition of households making homelessness applications through the HL1 data collection. The HL3 data collection gathers information about temporary accommodation placements connected to homelessness applications.

Therefore, information relating to the number of individuals and household composition of those within temporary accommodation placements has been derived by linking household records between the HL1 and HL3 data collections. However, it is important to note that the household composition included in the HL1 return may not be a true reflection of those who are present in the associated temporary accommodation placement(s). This can be particularly the case for children e.g. where households make alternative arrangements for children when entering temporary accommodation.

Households and individuals in unsuitable temporary accommodation as at 31st March 2021

 

Households without children in unsuitable TA

 

Households with children in unsuitable TA

 

All households in unsuitable TA

LA

Number of households

Number of individuals

 

Number of households

Number of individuals

 

Number of households

Number of individuals

Scotland

95

100

 

30

90

 

125

185

Aberdeen City

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Aberdeenshire

10

10

 

<5

5

 

10

15

Angus

<5

<5

 

0

0

 

<5

<5

Argyll & Bute

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Clackmannanshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Dumfries & Galloway

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Dundee City

0

0

 

<5

5

 

<5

5

East Ayrshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

East Dunbartonshire

0

0

 

<5

<5

 

<5

<5

East Lothian

50

50

 

<5

<5

 

50

50

East Renfrewshire

<5

<5

 

<5

<5

 

<5

5

Edinburgh

<5

<5

 

<5

10

 

<5

10

Eilean Siar

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Falkirk

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Fife

<5

<5

 

0

0

 

<5

<5

Glasgow City

<5

<5

 

10

35

 

10

35

Highland

30

30

 

<5

10

 

35

40

Inverclyde

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Midlothian

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Moray

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

North Ayrshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

North Lanarkshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Orkney

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Perth & Kinross

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Renfrewshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Scottish Borders

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Shetland

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

South Ayrshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

South Lanarkshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

Stirling

0

0

 

<5

15

 

<5

15

West Dunbartonshire

0

0

 

0

0

 

0

0

West Lothian

0

0

 

<5

<5

 

<5

<5

Source: HL1 & HL3

Note 1: The number of individuals refers to the number of adults and children in the household
‎ Note 2: Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5 for confidentiality purposes. Values of 1, 2, 3 or 4 are denoted by ‘<5’.