Regulator finds reduction in homeless applications but council rent arrears increase

The number of homeless applications and people in temporary accommodation reduced during November but rent arrears for local authority landlords increased, according to the Scottish Housing Regulator’s latest monthly dashboard report.

The report is designed to help the Scottish Government and social landlords to understand the continuing impact of the coronavirus pandemic and to support the work of the Social Housing Resilience Group.

November’s dashboard shows that aggregate rent arrears have risen to their highest level since the Regulator started collecting monthly returns from social landlords in April, although arrears for Registered Social Landlords have fallen to their lowest level since April.

Fewer people applied to local authorities as homeless in November compared to October; and, for the third month in a row, there was a reduction in the number of people in temporary accommodation. At the end of November, 13,815 households remained in temporary accommodation, which is the lowest this figure has been since May. The number of lets made in the month surpassed 5,000 for the first time since the monthly returns started, with 39% of the lets going to people who were experiencing homelessness.

Since April, all social landlords have been providing the Regulator with a monthly return on a small set of key measures that focus on the main areas of impact on landlords’ operations.

The Regulator recently wrote to all landlords to confirm that the December return has been suspended, and so the next monthly return from landlords is due on 8 February 2021.

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