Regulator highlights considerable pressure on councils’ services for people experiencing homelessness


09 February 2023

A new report by the Regulator highlights that some councils are finding it increasingly difficult to fully meet their statutory duties on homelessness, particularly providing temporary accommodation to people experiencing homelessness.

The report highlights that councils are making considerable efforts in very challenging circumstances to deliver effective services and some have had success in moving toward an approach with rapid rehousing at its centre.  The Regulator also found that there is an emerging risk of systemic failure in their homelessness services. 

The report sets out three main strategic challenges facing councils in providing services to people experiencing homelessness: dealing with the number of people in temporary accommodation; maintaining an adequate supply of temporary accommodation; and ensuring homeless people have sufficient access to permanent housing. 

John Jellema, Assistant Director Of Regulation, said:
“Some councils are finding it increasingly difficult to meet these challenges, and so to fully meet their statutory duties. This includes difficulties in ensuring that people with particular equality characteristics – such as single women and children – have temporary accommodation options that meet their needs.

“There are actions councils can and should take to respond to these challenges, and there are other improvements to services they can make. All councils should continue best efforts to meet their statutory obligations.

“The Scottish Government has put in place a wide range of policy actions aimed at achieving the goal of ending homelessness in Scotland. Having said that, the Scottish Government may need to consider what further urgent measures it can take to support councils to respond to the immediate challenges they face in delivering services for people who are homeless.”

Read the Regulator’s thematic inquiry report on homelessness services in Scotland.

Notes to editors

  1. The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and eight Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at
  2. SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.


Tracy Davren Communications Manager