Homelessness: key points
Someone is considered homeless if they do not have access to permanent accommodation which it is reasonable for them to occupy.
Many homeless people in Scotland live in temporary accommodation, and a small proportion sleep rough.
The causes of homelessness are complex. They usually include a combination of structural factors (such as poverty and lack of affordable housing) and individual vulnerabilities (such as relationship difficulties, mental health problems, or substance use).
Poor health can be both a cause and consequence of homelessness. Homelessness is associated with poorer physical and mental health, and higher mortality rates.
Homeless people are much less likely to be registered with a GP and more likely to go to emergency services than the wider population.
Acknowledgement: ScotPHO would like to acknowledge the contribution of Emily Tweed and Beth Reid who wrote the initial version of this section.
- This section was first published on 12th April 2017.
- The next major update is due to be carried out by end March 2018.