Driving social policy

Suzanne Fitzpatrick

This life-changing research is tackling global issues in housing and poverty, creating solutions that make a difference in the real world.

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick

Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick leads the Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate Research (I-SPHERE) which conducts UK and world-wide research into areas of societal impact including:

  • affordability, housing markets and private renting
  • commercial property markets
  • diversity/black and minority ethnic communities
  • homelessness and social exclusion
  • comparative Housing and Urban Research
  • housing development, design and regeneration
  • housing policy, management and governance
  • neighbourhoods and deprivation.

This research underpins the University's commitment to creating and exchanging knowledge for society's benefit, and to achieving a just energy transtion. It places Heriot-Watt as one of the UK's top social and urban policy centres in this area, and was integral to the successful passage of the Homelessness Reduction Bill through the House of Lords to become law.

Real-world impact

 I-SPHERE has continued to drive awareness of destitution and homelessness through its significant research work with charities including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Crisis.

Their major contribution and impact on policy has been recognised, once again, in their shortlisting for a prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) Award 2023, widely known as the “Oscars of higher education”, in the International Collaboration of the Year category. As well as providing a lead research role in the creation of the Institute of Global Homelessness at DePaul University, Chicago, their recent evaluation work on the ‘A Place to Call Home’ initiative integrated 13 research teams across six continents to identify strategies to reduce street homelessness in hugely diverse global contexts.

Read more on I-SPHERE's hard-hitting research:
A Place to Call Home
A million children in UK experienced destitution in 2023

Key information

Suzanne Fitzpatrick