Legislation aimed at ending homelessness could increase the number of people in temporary accommodation, the Housing Minister has conceded.
From December 31 councils have to provide settled accommodation to anyone who becomes unintentionally homeless.
The new requirement means there "may be more people in the short term in temporary accommodation" such as flats, hostels, bedsits or bed-and-breakfast accommodation, Margaret Burgess said. But they would get permanent accommodation as part of the 2012 homelessness commitment, she stressed.
The Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act, passed by Holyrood in 2003, abolishes the priority-need test for homelessness. This has seen some people, generally families with children, regarded as being in greater need of accommodation than other homeless people.
The removal of the priority-need test will give an estimated 3,000 more people a year the right to settled accommodation.
Ms Burgess, who has worked for Citizens Advice Bureau, said: "What we are saying is if you are homeless through no fault of your own - homeless is homeless - you should be entitled to permanent accommodation. There may be more people in the short term in temporary accommodation until they can get permanent accommodation, but they will get permanent accommodation. That's key to this."
The legislation has had an impact "because in most local authorities people who are homeless through no fault of their own are being assessed as entitled to settled homeless accommodation, and that's what the homeless commitment is about. It's about removing the barrier where there were two types of homelessness: priority and non-priority". But she said she is concerned about the impact of Westminster's welfare reforms.
Statutory homelessness applications in Scotland have fallen 19% over the past year, from 55,663 in 2010-11 to 45,322 in 2011-12. Rough sleeping is also decreasing.
Earlier this month the Homelessness Monitor, a major independent study by Heriot-Watt University and the University of York and recently published by homelessness charity Crisis, said the decline is now threatened by underlying housing pressures.
Lead researcher Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick said at the time that although there are "encouraging recent trends" north of the border, it "remains to be seen whether such gains can be maintained in the face of the prolonged recession, radical welfare cutbacks and a tightening supply of affordable housing for those on low and modest incomes".