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Housing, Adaptations & Homelessness - Data

Man using a stairlift


What you told us

Read a consultation carried out in conjunction with Shelter in 2021 (PDF).

Read our consultation findings for the Strategic Plan 2022-25 (PDF)

Read our consultation carried out with residents of Extra Care Housing 2022 (PDF)

What the data tell us

Housing: availability and suitability

Good-quality housing is critical to health, it can reduce and delay demand for NHS and social care services and allows patients to go home when they are clinically fit to do so. Those living in more deprived areas or on lower incomes are more likely to experience housing with the potential to impact adversely on health, such as overcrowding, dampness, and fuel poverty. All affordable rented housing needs to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard. All stock is being improved to this standard.

Suitable housing has long been regarded as vital in supporting people who are frail or have some form of disability, to live well in the community. Staying at home is a viable option for most of us as we age, but may depend on our home’s location, accessibility, size, energy efficiency and proximity to local amenities. 91% of people believe their housing is currently suitable to their needs. 50% of Health and Social Care workers agree with this statement.

The number of households is projected to increase from 39,363 in 2020 to 47,856 in 2039. This represents a 22% increase in households. Midlothian’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2019 – 2024 has identified sites for the development of up to 2,202 new affordable homes. These are being developed by the Council and other local Registered Social Landlords.

Level of Council Housing Stock (as of 31 March each year)

The number council houses in Midlothian decreased year on year from 2006 and 2009, however there was a substantial increase in 2010, where the number of council houses jumped from 6,081 to 6,442.  This trend continued, with the number of households reaching 7,089 by 2021.

Legislation in 2016 ended the ‘right to buy’ sales of council houses which will avoid further depletions in the level of social rented stock in Midlothian. Council housing stock has been increasing. The council has now completed the development of 1,000 additional council homes.

Midlothian Council continues to build new housing ensuring that the needs of older people and people with a disability are considered.  There is also work with Housing Associations/RSLs to redesign some accommodation to enable people with higher levels of need to be supported.


The Scottish House Condition Survey: Local Authority Analysis (2017-2019) shows:

  • 39% of households contain one or more long term sick or disabled persons.
  • 58% of which are social housing,
  • 34% are owner-occupied properties.
  • 60% contained pensioners,
  • 32% had adults only,
  • 27% had families.
  • 17% of applicants seeking housing from Midlothian Council have medical needs 


Equipment and Adaptations

Significant investment is required in adaptations and equipment to promote independence and enable people to stay in their own home.

In 2019/20, the most common council and private sector adaptations were wet floor showers and level access showers. These accounted for 75% (£293,479.52) of the council’s adaptation total spend in 2019/20.

Social landlords receive grants directly from the Scottish Government for adaptations. Information available shows adaptations to showers and baths accounted for the majority of all social landlord adaptations between 2013 and 18.

The requirement for adaptations to support people to stay in their own homes is increasing. 17% of dwellings in Midlothian have some form of adaptation. For social housing this rises to 24%. 32% of pensioner households have an adaptation compared to 10% of family households and 9% of adult only households.


Existing Additional Needs Housing Provision

The largest expected increase in Midlothian’s population is in older people.

There is 1 ‘Very Sheltered’ housing facility providing accommodation with staff onsite and meals for those over 60.

  • Glenesk House (Eskbank)  has 35 flats. Managed by Viewpoint Housing Association.

Sheltered housing is no longer available. Previous sheltered complexes have deregistered their facilities to retirement status.

Retirement housing provides accommodation with a part time manager onsite for those over 60. There are 9 retirement housing facilities.

Extra Care Housing is suited to those with higher care needs. The previous criteria for tenants to be aged 55 and over has been removed. There are onsite staff teams who provide support. Meals are also available onsite. There are 2 Extra Care Housing facilities:

  • Cowan Court (Penicuik) has 32 flats (1 intermediate care), managed by Midlothian Council.
  • Hawthorn Gardens (Loanhead) has 35 flats, managed by Trust Housing Association.


There are more than 300 active housing applications logged with Midlothian Council’s Housing Allocations team for Retirement, Very Sheltered and Extra Care housing. A third of these are applications for Dalkeith. In response to this demand Three Extra Care Housing sites are under development:

  •  one in Dalkeith which will have 48 properties (including 1 bariatric property),
  • one in Bonnyrigg which will have 44 properties (including 1 bariatric property) and
  • one in Gorebridge which will have 12 properties (all wheelchair accessible, including 2 bariatric properties).

The current wheelchair housing stock is 175 properties with a projected increase to 234 by 2025.

The majority of adults with learning disabilities (89%) do not live with a family carer. This is much higher than the Scottish average (43%). Teviot Court provides accommodation for 12 adults with a learning disability and complex needs in Penicuik. Further similar housing developments are underway in Bonnyrigg (8 homes) and Loanhead (4 homes). For people with a more moderate Learning Disability clustering arrangements are more dispersed and often delivered within mainstream housing within any given locality.



Homelessness means not having a home. You are homeless if you have nowhere to stay and are living on the streets or if you are: staying with friends or family, staying in temporary accommodation provided by the local authority, a hostel or B&B. In Midlothian there is very little rough sleeping but there are over 1000 homeless households, mainly living in temporary accommodation. People assessed as homeless are likely to be among the most deprived. Health outcomes and homelessness are known to be related:

  • Homeless people are among the most vulnerable and socially excluded in our society and often find it difficult to access the help they need.
  • Homeless people have higher rates of premature mortality than the rest of the population, especially from suicide and unintentional injuries, and an increased prevalence of a range of infectious diseases, mental disorders, and substance misuse. Homeless people typically attend the emergency department more often than non-homeless people.
  • Other studies have shown that homeless populations experience extreme health inequities across a wide range of health conditions, with the relative effect of exclusion being greater in female individuals than in male individuals.

In late 2019 the Scottish Government commissioned a report into the prevention of homelessness in Scotland. The final report published in February 2021 recommended new legal duties on local authorities and other public bodies to prevent homelessness. If these proposals are adopted by the Scottish Government it will establish a legal duty for all public bodies, including Health and Social Partnerships, to ‘ask and act’ to proactively prevent homelessness. This will create a wider shared responsibility to prevent homelessness from occurring on all services not just housing.

Reasons for Homelessness, 2020/21

Note: Totals may not sum to 100% due to rounding

Reasons for Homelessness Percentage
Asked to leave 30.8%
Dispute within household / relationship breakdown: non-violent 30.6%
Dispute within household: violent or abusive 14.1%
Other reason for loss of accommodation 8.8%
Overcrowding 4.5%
Discharge from prison / hospital / care / other institution 2.2%
Other action by landlord resulting in the termination of the tenancy 1.6%
Fleeing non-domestic violence 1.6%
Emergency (fire, flood, storm, closing order from Environmental Health etc.) 1.2%
Other reason for leaving accommodation / household 1.2%
Harassment 1.0%
Termination of tenancy / mortgage due to rent arrears / default on payments 0.8%
Forced division and sale of matrimonial home 0.8%
Applicant terminated secure accommodation 0.6%
Loss of service / tied accommodation 0.0%


Number of homeless presentations (2012/13-2020/21)

The number of homeless presentations in Midlothian reduced over the 2012 to 2021 period, falling from 754 in 2012/13 to 490 in 2020/21.  Apart from a slight increase in 2017/18 and 2020/21, the number of presentations have been falling year on year, with the greatest reduction between 2012/13 and 2013/14.


Homeless Applications by age group 2020/21

The number of homeless applications in the 26-59 age group is far greater than in any other age group, with 299 applications in 2020/21.  Young adults were the next largest, with 155 people in the 18-25 age group presenting as homeless.


Reductions in homeless presentations are attributable to Midlothian Council’s approach to homeless prevention for those at risk of becoming homeless.

Youth homelessness continues to be a major problem in Scotland as well as in Midlothian.

There is a shortage of available social housing across Scotland, including Midlothian. In 2019/20 only 3.9% of lettable Council housing in Midlothian became available for let, compared to 8.4% in Scotland. As a result of this Midlothian reported the longest average number of weeks to close a homeless case in Scotland, with an average of 105 weeks. The average time in Scotland was 34 weeks.

Midlothian Council established Housing First in June 2020. This project supports people whose experience of homelessness is compounded by complex and/or multiple support needs. It provides them with a permanent tenancy as a secure base to better address their additional support needs. 32 people have been supported through the project between July 2020 and March 2022.

Support needs of homeless households (2020/21)

In 2020/21 the vast majority of homeless households (421) had no support needs, while 38 households had 1 support need identified.  1 homeless households had 3 or more support needs identified.


The Scottish Government remains commented to removal of the ‘Local Connection’ test which forms part of the homeless assessment. This will allow people in housing crisis to determine the area they wish to settle in themselves. This could potentially have an impact on the number of people with additional support needs seeking housing in Midlothian who also need to access other service.