Homelessness in Scotland
New Report published in March 2021
The Salvation Army has produced a new report, which examines whether Scottish local authorities were able to cope with rising levels of homelessness as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has found that people are getting stuck in places like bed and breakfasts because there is insufficient ‘move on’ accommodation available to resource ‘rapid rehousing’ plans.
The research, carried out by Rocket Science, engaged with 20 different Scottish local authorities through telephone interviews and/or an online survey, as well as surveying eight third-sector providers.
It focuses on four Key Questions:
- How homelessness funding is currently being spent, and whether the reduction in funding is a result of money being spent in other areas (e.g. adult social care) or is due to a shift to other types of provision
- Whether funding trends will affect the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan, particularly in the context of the estimation by local authorities that rehousing transition plans will cost close to three times the £50 million budget set by the Government
- What the impact of Covid-19 will likely be, including the effects of the pandemic on the levels of homelessness and the related policy decisions
- What an adequate budget should be that accounts for this rise of people in emergency housing, while ensuring that the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan remains on track.
The new report offers a set of nine recommendations for the Scottish Government to consider in order to meet the demand for homelessness services and ensure the success of the Ending Homelessness Together: High Level Action Plan. These recommendations fall into three broad categories, including the need:
- To improve the quality of publicly available data. This will help to ensure that investment accurately reflects local need and provides an accurate assessment of how effective investment has been;
- To adjust the amount of investment available to help local authorities respond to any increased demands due to COVID-19 through the implementation of their rapid rehousing transition plans; and
- To reduce the “bottleneck effect” in temporary accommodation by providing a specific programme of capital investment for ‘rapid rehousing’ to increase the number of permanent housing options for people with experience of homelessness.
Please read the full report and recommendations here
To accompany the report, Rocket Science also produced a series of additional documents
The method and research document outlines what was used to create the research and the materials used to carry it out, such as interview topic guides.
This comprehensive literature review outlines the homelessness picture in Scotland, highlighting the changes in policy and welfare reform in recent years, and emerging trends, especially in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The costings tool provides a high-level estimation of the required budget at a local authority level to tackle homelessness across Scotland. The model allows a user to explore the current costs of homelessness services, based on the latest available Green Book data, and to estimate future budgets based on changes in demand.
To accompany the report, Rocket Science also produced a series of additional documents (please see below).
Scottish Homelessness Report Executive Summary
Scottish Homelessness Method & Research Tools
Scottish Homelessness Report Literature Review
Scottish Report Costings Tool