Heriot-Watt University

Homing in on homelessness

A leading contributor to tackling homelessness, reducing rough sleeping and helping destitute people nationwide.

While rough sleeping is the most visible form of homelessness, the University’s Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research addresses all major forms of extreme disadvantage in its work. As part of this, the Institute compiled a Homelessness Monitor with the aim of painting a fuller picture of people across the UK who have experienced acute forms of homelessness.

The Homelessness Monitor has since become the definitive source for homelessness statistics. Its evidence-based research has informed the most significant reforms in UK homelessness law in the past forty years, including the re-design of legislation in Scotland and Wales, leading to the Homeless Reduction Act in England 2017. While its work through the Scotland Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group led to the provision in 2017 of £21m by the Scottish Government for permanent housing to address this.