Isobel Anderson

Isobel AndersonProfessor Isobel Anderson

Professor of Housing Studies

School of Applied Social Science, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK.

Research interests

Isobel Anderson is Director of Research for the School of Applied Social Science at the University of Stirling. She previously convened the Governance, Participation and Inclusion Research Group, reflecting her social policy interests in governance, welfare and social inequality. Her personal research has focused on housing, inequality and social exclusion in the UK and international contexts including:

  • Housing policy and the social welfare dimensions of housing
  • Homelessness, housing rights and equalities in access to housing
  • Sustainable housing, neighbourhoods and communities
  • Housing governance, inter-professional working and issues of empowerment and participation

Active in UK, European and international research networks, Isobel founded the working group on Welfare Policy, Homelessness and Social Exclusion within the European Network for Housing Research, jointly co-ordinating the group from 2003-2013 ( She was UK researcher for the European Observatory on Homelessness (convened by FEANTSA, the EU association of national homelessness agencies) during 2001-2006 and remains on the international advisory committee of the European Journal of Homelessness (

Recent research projects

  • Resilience to housing crisis: factors influencing success for young people in social tenancies, Collaborative (CASE) PhD studentship, ESRC and Scottish Council for Single Homelessness, 2008-12.
  • The integration of health services in a comprehensive response to homelessness. Norwegian Social Research/Norwegian Housing Bank, 2009-10.
  • Continuity or change in Cuba? Housing, neighbourhood participation and state governance. Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. 2009.
  • The prevention and alleviation of homelessness: guidance for housing associations. Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, 2010.
  • Meeting the needs of homeless people: inter-professional work in Scotland and Norway (pilot empirical project). Norwegian Housing Bank, 2011-12, in collaboration with University of Buskerud, Norway and Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research.
  • Making 2012 Happen. Shelter Scotland, 2011/12. Making the best use of vacancies; The homelessness service of the future.
  • Sustainable homes in contrasting contexts: integrating social and architectural perspectives in housing research in Cuba and the UK, British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme award, 2013-14.
  • Independent expert for peer review of Athens homelessness policies, Greece. FEANTSA/HABITACT EU, 2013-14.

Selected publications

Anderson, I. and Serpa, S. (2013) The right to settled accommodation for homeless people in Scotland: a triumph of rational policy making? European Journal of Homelessness 7(1), pp13-39.

Anderson, I. and Ytrehus, S. (2012) Reconceptualising approaches to meeting the health needs of homeless people, Journal of Social Policy,41 (3), pp551-568.

Anderson, I. (2011) Evidence, policy and guidance for practice: a critical reflection on the case of social housing landlords and antisocial behaviour in Scotland. Evidence and Policy 7(1), pp41-58.

Anderson, I. (2009) Challenges for Housing Policy in Cuba: Case Studies from Havana, Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, 15(2), pp5-23.

Anderson, I. (2007) Sustainable solutions to homelessness: the Scottish case, European Journal of Homelessness, Volume 1, pp 163-183, online at

Edited Books

Anderson, I. and Sim, D. (eds) (2011) Housing and inequality. Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing and Housing Studies Association.

Chapters in edited volumes

Anderson I. (2012) Policies to Address Homelessness: Rights-Based Approaches, in Susan J. Smith, Marja Elsinga, Lorna Fox O’Mahony, Ong Seow Eng, Susan Wachter, Suzanne Fitzpatrick, editors. International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, Vol 5. Oxford: Elsevier; 2012. pp. 249–254.

Anderson, I. (2010) Services for homeless people: supporting pathways out of homelessness, pp41-63, in O’Sullivan, E., Busch-Geertsema, V., Quilgars, D. and Pleace, N., Homelessness Research in Europe. Brussels: FEANTSA.

Anderson, I. (2009) Homelessness policy in Scotland: A complete safety net by 2012?, Chapter 7, pp107-124 in Fitzpatrick, S., Quilgars, D. and Pleace, N., Homelessness in the UK: problems and solutions. Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing.

Anderson, I. (2008) The impact of legislative change for young homeless people: comparing Scotland and England, pp49-70 in Doherty, J. and Edgar, B., In my caravan, I feel like Superman, essays in honour of Henk Meert 1963-2006. Brussels: FEANTSA.

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