Delivering the Right to Housing? Why Scotland Still Needs an 'Ending Homelessness' Action Plan


Anderson I (2019) Delivering the Right to Housing? Why Scotland Still Needs an 'Ending Homelessness' Action Plan. European Journal of Homelessness, 13 (2), pp. 131-159.

In 2018, the Scottish Government launched the 'Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan', just 6 years after the earlier '2012 target' for implementation of the previous major review of homelessness policy. Scotland had introduced a modernised legislative framework for homeless-ness, with the Homelessness etc. (Scotland) Act of 2003, strengthening the legal rights of homeless people to assistance with housing. Using a policy analysis framework, this paper revisits the impact of the earlier legislation, identifying perceived gaps in implementation, which framed the context for further review. The paper examines the work programme of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG), which contributed to policy review, and outlines key components of the 2018 action plan. The analysis reflects critically on the potential for meaningful progress on ending homeless-ness over the five years from 2018-2023. Given international interest in prior homelessness policy in Scotland, this research was conducted to inform a European and wider international audience of the further ambitions to end homelessness in Scotland. The study adopted desk-based methods, drawing on published administrative data on homelessness, publicly available policy and practice documents, and the wider research evidence on homelessness. The analysis demonstrates that while the Scottish approach still compares favourably internationally, robust commitment to policy delivery, as well as monitoring of implementation and review of outcomes all remain essential to ensure policy effectiveness.

Homelessness Law; Policy Review; Housing Rights

European Journal of Homelessness: Volume 13, Issue 2

Publication date31/12/2019
Publication date online28/01/2020
Date accepted by journal07/01/2020
Publisher URL…licyReview-2.pdf