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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-04018: Neil Findlay (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 October 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding how many people have slept rough in each of the last 10 years.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 2 November 2016

The Scottish Government collects information on rough sleepers through the HL1 data-set. This data collection records information on homeless applications and is supplied by local authorities to the Scottish Government.

Since 2002, the HL1 data-set has recorded cases where rough sleeping occurs a) the night prior to a homeless application being made and b) at least once during the three months prior to the application being made. However, it is voluntary for applicants to supply this information.

For annual figures on this, see Table 2a in the publication: Homelessness in Scotland: 2015-16 available at:

Use of the HL1 only provides information on homeless applicants who sleep rough and will not count all rough sleepers. Some rough sleepers will not necessarily want to engage with services or are particularly hard to reach.