Isobel Anderson

Isobel Anderson

Professional Title: Professor
Institution: Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK
Position: WHEN Member

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Isobel Anderson leads the Home, Housing and Communities research programme at the University of Stirling and is a member of the Public Services and Governance Research Group, reflecting her social policy interests in governance, welfare and social inequality. Her personal research has focused on housing, inequality and social 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 has been a member of WHEN since 2012 and jointly authored a chapter on The Health of Homeless Women for Women’s Homelessness in Europe (2016).

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 ( Since 2015, she has been joint co-ordinator of the working group on Housing in Developing Countries. She was previously UK researcher for the European Observatory on Homelessness (convened by FEANTSA, the EU association of national homelessness agencies) and remains on the international advisory committee of the European Journal of Homelessness (

Isobel is increasingly developing interdisciplinary and international research including gendered perspectives on home, homelessness and well-being.

Recent Research Projects

Current Projects

Match Me – what works for adapted social housing lettings? Action research to enhance independent living for disabled people. (July 2017 – Dec 2018). Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL), with Horizon Housing Association and Housing Options Scotland.

Home, Housing and Communities: development of international and interdisciplinary research theme, University of Stirling.

Working together: improving housing outcomes for the ex-forces community, with Christine Robinson, Forces in Mind Trust, (January 2017-December 2018).

Commonhealth: Housing through Social Enterprise, January 2016- December 2018 (Project 7 of Commonhealth Programme: Developing Methods to Evidence Social Enterprise as a Public Health Intervention, Medical Research Council, collaboration led by Glasgow Caledonian University)

Completed Projects

The effective allocation of adapted social housing: pilot study, Horizon Housing, 2016-17, with Dianne Theakstone.

Evaluation of North Lanarkshire Integrated Addiction Service, led by Rowdy Yates with Louise McCabe and John Burns, North Lanarkshire Council, 2014-15.

Independent expert for peer review of Athens homelessness policies, Greece. FEANTSA/HABITACT EU, 2013-14.

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 2013-15.

The homelessness service of the future; Making the best use of vacancies. Shelter Scotland, 2011/12.

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

The prevention and alleviation of homelessness: guidance for housing associations. Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, 2010.

Recent Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Anderson, I. Dyb, E. and Finnerty, J. (2016) The ‘Arc of Prosperity’ Revisited: Homelessness policy change in North Western Europe, Social Inclusion 4(4) pp108-124, Themed Issue on Homelessness.

Gosme, L. and Anderson, I. (2015) International learning as a driver of innovation in local-level policy making: Achievements and challenges from peer review of homelessness policies, European Journal of Homelessness, 9(1), pp37-59, online at

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, online at

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

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

Wolf, J., Anderson, I., van den Dries, L. and Filipovic-Hrast, M. (2016) The Health of Homeless Women, pp 155-178, in Mayock, P. and Bretherton, J (eds) Women’s Homelessness in Europe: A Reader. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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.

Research Reports

Anderson, I. (2014) Peer review on homelessness policies in Athens, Greece. Brussels: FEANTSA/HABITACT.

Anderson, I., Dyb, E. and Ytrehus, S. (2012) Meeting the needs of homeless people: inter-professional work in Norway and Scotland. Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research.

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