Skip to main content

Hidden Homelessness topic briefing

By: Shelter Scotland  Published: October 2018


This topic briefing gives an overview of hidden homelessness in Scotland, including a definition, the groups most affected by hidden homelessness, and indicators of how widespread hidden homelessness is.

Summary

‘Hidden homelessness’ refers to people who would meet the legal definition of homeless if they were to make a formal application, but are not represented in the local authority homeless statistics. 

Evidence suggests that ethnic minorities, migrants, women, and people in rural areas are more likely to experience hidden homelessness.

We don’t know how many people are affected by hidden homelessness; there are no statistics. The very nature of hidden homelessness dictates that it is impossible to properly measure the scale of the problem.