The right to settled accommodation for homeless people in Scotland: a triumph of rational policy making?



Anderson I & Serpa R (2013) The right to settled accommodation for homeless people in Scotland: a triumph of rational policy making?. European Journal of Homelessness, 7 (1), pp. 13-39.

This article presents a critical review of the final phase of implementation of the modernised Scottish homelessness framework, taking a ‘classical policy analysis’ approach to assessing its significance. The article draws on a combination of a review of evidence over the implementation period, new findings from research conducted in 2011-13 and critical observation of the policy process during implementation. Implementation was influenced by political change at Scottish and UK levels and by the impact of changes in other aspects of housing and welfare policy. The essence of the right to settled accommodation was successfully achieved, but incremental policy adjustment has meant that outcomes for those facing homelessness varied somewhat from the highest aspirations of the radical 2002 policy review, which set out the modernised framework. The extent to which the strengthened legal framework represents a policy success over the long term will depend on whether its continued implementation withstands the risk of ‘policy blurring’ in the most recent shift towards blending homelessness assessment, homelessness prevention activities and the broader assessment of the ‘housing options’ available to those seeking assistance.

Homelessness; access to housing; policy implementation

European Journal of Homelessness: Volume 7, Issue 1

FundersShelter Scotland
Publication date31/08/2013
Publication date online2013
Date accepted by journal29/03/2013
Publisher URL

People (2)


Professor Isobel Anderson

Professor Isobel Anderson

Professor, Housing Studies

Dr Regina Serpa

Dr Regina Serpa

Lecturer in Housing, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Projects (1)

The 2012 Homelessness Service