Under the Scottish Government's homelessness target, from the end of this year all unintentionally homeless people are entitled to settled accommodation, and not just those classed as a priority.
To help meet the target, the Government set up the Scottish Housing Options Approach which allows local authorities to look at all options such as private rental accommodation, low-cost home ownership and other measures, instead of a homelessness assessment as the first option.
Housing minister Margaret Burgess said: "These latest falls in homeless applications provide proof that measures to tackle and prevent homelessness are making a real difference. The Scottish Government's Housing Options Approach funding programme, backed by investment of approximately £650,000, has helped local authorities embrace prevention.
"We will continue to drive forward with our partners in local government and elsewhere to ensure we remain on course to meet our 2012 target and sustain this into 2013 and beyond."