This tool will help you to compare official statistics on homelessness and rough sleeping across the UK, with information provided on each of the four countries.
Using the links above you can view comparison guidance and definitions for a number of key topics within homelessness.
You can also view the journey a person may go through when seeking support for housing from a local authority.
To find out more about how to use this tool, please visit the 'About' section.
Find out how to compare statistics on different homelessness topics and their definitions.
Explore the process a person applying for housing support would go through in each UK country.
To collect case level information on statutory homelessness in England, the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection system (H-CLIC) was established in 2018.The H-CLIC system provides detailed information on the causes and effects of homelessness as well as long term outcomes and prevention of homelessness. The following information shows the data collected on homelessness applicants at different stages of the homeless process in England. Official statistics are produced for each of the stages in the process model.
To collect information on statutory homelessness in Wales, local authorities are required to collect data on all households who apply for homelessness assistance and to provide aggregated outcomes based information to the Welsh Government. The following information shows the data collected on homelessness applicants at different stages of the homeless process in Wales. Official statistics are produced for each of the stages in the process model.
In Scotland, four systems (HL1, HL2, HL3, and Prevent1), are used to collect data on households applying as homeless to local authorities.
The HL1 and PREVENT1 data collections collect case level data on Homelessness and Housing Options applications respectively and the HL2 and HL3 collections collect data on temporary accommodation. If a household presents themselves as homeless or threatened with homelessness (within 56 days), the local authority will ask them to complete a HL1 form.
The following information shows the data collected on homeless applicants at different stages of the homeless process using both the PREVENT1 and HL1 forms in Scotland. Official statistics are produced for each of the stages in the process model.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) is responsible for homelessness assessments and provision of housing. NIHE records data on those who present as homeless to the housing executive and decisions made on the four homeless tests.
The following information shows the data collected on homelessness applicants at different stages of the homeless process in Northern Ireland. Official statistics are produced for each of the stages in the process model.
Threatened with homelessness
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
MHCLG is the leading Government department on housing and homelessness.
MHCLG publish statistics on homelessness for England.
Welsh Government publish statistics on homelessness for Wales.
Scottish Government publish statistics on homelessness for Scotland.
Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
NIHE is the strategic Housing Authority for Northern Ireland.
NIHE provide housing assistance and collect information on homelessness and applications for housing support.
Homelessness Reduction Act 2017.
English legislation which places new duties on housing authorities to intervene earlier to prevent homelessness.
Bed and breakfast.
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
A local authority is an organisation responsible for a range of local services.
This could take the form of a county council or district, borough, or city council.
A housing authority is a government body that governs local housing services.
Homelessness Case Level Information Collection, MHCLG's case-level data collection system as of April 2018.
Temporary accommodation can be used to place households in accommodation to address both an interim duty to accommodate and the full housing duty.
More information on temporary accommodation and how to make comparisons across the four UK countries can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
Office for National Statistics.
ONS produce statistics on deaths of homeless people.
Office for Statistics Regulation.
The Office for Statistics Regulation is the regulatory arm of the UK Statistics Authority.
They provide independent regulation of all official statistics produced in the UK.
Government Statistical Service.
The Government Statistical Service (GSS) is a community for all civil servants working in the collection, production and communication of official statistics.
Harmonisation is about making statistics more comparable, consistent and coherent.
For more information, please visit the GSS Harmonisation Team.
If a household presents themselves as homeless or threatened with homelessness (within 56 days) in Scotland, the local authority will ask them to complete a HL1 form.
The HL2 system is used to collect a snapshot of households in temporary accommodation at the end of each quarter.
Since 2016, it has been mandatory for local authorities to submit placement level data on temporary accommodation which has formed the HL3.
In Scotland, the Prevent1 data collection system gathers information on the operation of 'Housing Options' services that are made available when households seek assistance for housing-related issues, and which can be used by local authorities as a means of delivering statutory duties around the provision of advice and information for the prevention of homelessness.
Department for Communities in Northern Ireland.
Data on homelessness is collected by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and analysed and published by DfC.
One person living alone; or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room or sitting room or dining area.
Being 'eligible' for homelessness assistance depends on your immigration and residence status.
A person is homeless if he/ she has no accommodation in the UK or elsewhere.
More information on this and guidance on how to make comparisons across the four UK countries can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
A person is threatened with homelessness if it is likely that he/ she will become homeless within one or two months, depending on the country. More information on this and guidance on how to make comparisons across the four UK countries can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
Someone with a priority need may struggle to cope as a homeless person more than others, due to some sort of vulnerability. More information on priority need, the criteria for priority need and what this means for each UK countries definition and statistics, can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
Intentionally homeless means the applicant intentionally did something, or failed to do something that resulted in their homelessness. More information on this and guidance on how to make comparisons across the four UK countries can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
People sleeping, or bedded down, in the open air. More information on how these statistics are collected and how to compare rough sleeping statistics across the four UK countries can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
In this tool an outcome (in light blue) is classified as an action taken as a result of the decision.
In this tool a decision (in blue) is classified as a decision made to categorise an applicant or take action based off the assessment stage.
In this tool an assessment (in dark blue) is classified as a test or assessment stage where the applicant is measured against a set of criteria.
Applicants presenting as homeless within 365 days of their last presentation. More information on how these statistics are collected and how to compare repeat homelessness statistics across the four UK countries can be found by clicking the 'see comparisons' button below.
When referenced in this tool, an 'applicant' or 'presenter' is a household or individual that has applied for assistance with housing-related issues form a local authority or the Housing Executive.
Statutory homelessness is where local authorities or the housing executive have defined a household as homeless within the terms of the homelessness legislation.
Each country has legislation on the definition and provision of support for homeless households.
A database including definitions and comparison information is available for download, along with the applicant process journeys for each UK country.
To view information on the comparability of homelessness statistics you can click on the definitions and comparison information for key topics; specific information is provided for each country.
To view the process a person goes through after applying for housing assistance, you can navigate between the four countries and be guided through each journey. The journey will be slightly different dependent on the country; the homelessness application process is different as is the legislation and statutory requirements underpinning it.
As you navigate through a journey, definitions and short explanations of concepts will be available to view. This is to help you understand what a concept means and how a similar concept in another country may be different.
If you would like to view the full journey, you can click on the 'whole view'. To view another country's journey, you can click on 'another country'.Back to top
The aim of this tool is to enable users to understand what can and cannot be compared with regard to homelessness statistics across the UK.
This tool covers the process of gathering the data used in each UK country's main statistical publication on homelessness. There is also information on each UK country's rough sleeping statistics. We recognise that there are a number of ways for a homeless person to be not included in these main statistics, such as if they have not approached the local authorities for housing support; however, this is currently out of the scope of this tool.
Also currently out of scope are the other sources of statistics on homelessness which are not included in this tool. For example statistics on deaths of homeless people in England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics.'Back to top
Version: 0.1b - Updated: 12/09/2019
Temporary accommodation can be utilised to address both an interim duty to accommodate and the full housing duty.
That is, an applicant could be placed here during their investigation, as part of relief of homelessness, or whilst waiting for a permanent offer of rehousing.
A person is threatened with homelessness (potentially homeless) if it is likely that he/ she will become homeless within 56 days.
In Northern Ireland it is within 28 days.
A person is homeless if he/ she has no accommodation in the UK or elsewhere.
A person is also homeless if he/ she has accommodation but cannot reasonably occupy it, for example because of a threat of violence.
Rough sleeping is defined as: people sleeping, or bedded down, in the open air (such as on the streets, or in doorways, parks or bus shelters) ; people in buildings or other places not designed for habitation (such as barns, sheds, car parks, cars, derelict boats, stations or 'bashes').
Applicants presenting as homeless within 365 days of their last presentation.
Applicants who have priority need for housing include households with dependent children or a pregnant woman, people homeless due to fire/flood, and people who are particularly vulnerable due to ill health, disability, old age, having been in care or as a result of having been in custody or care, or having become homeless due to violence or the threat of violence.
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, legislation dictates that some categories of applicants have a priority need for accommodation if homeless.
Scotland do not test for priority need.
Intentionally homeless means the applicant intentionally did something, or failed to do something that resulted in their homelessness.