Heriot-Watt academic appointed to homelessness action group



A leading academic at Heriot-Watt University is working with the Scottish Government to help tackle rough sleeping.

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Director of I-SPHERE, has been selected to sit on the newly formed Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group chaired by Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the charity Crisis.

It is a hugely important issue and one that continues to affect individuals and families across Scotland.

Professor Fitzpatrick

The Action Group is made up of 12 members from across the sector including charities as well as local authorities and housing providers.

They sat for the first time this week with their initial task being to put forward urgent recommendations to minimise rough sleeping this winter.

Members will also examine how best to utilise a £50 million fund to support the Scottish Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness.

Professor Fitzpatrick, who specialises in research on homelessness and housing exclusion, is the only academic represented in the Action Group and will ensure that research evidence is brought to bear on the Group's work. She said: “It’s a privilege to be part to the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group and to contribute to the Scottish Government’s approach in tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.

“This new initiative ensures that we take a collaborative approach with partner agencies, each of whom has expertise in this field, to work towards effective solutions and to focus on  those most in need.”