Our strategy

In 2019, after the biggest consultation in Shelter’s history, we committed to a 10-year strategy designed to transform ourselves, the housing system and the country. It set ambitious goals and we’ve made significant progress towards them.

Close-up of a woman outside.

We believe that a home is a fundamental right.

A safe home is the foundation our lives are built on. It opens the door to employment, health, education, and is the basis of strong communities.

We want to make structural change. A better housing system that puts people not properties first, delivers a new generation of social housing and delivers on people’s housing rights, not one that denies their basic dignity.

The housing emergency

Scotland’s housing system is broken and biased. It can and must be fixed.

2022 marks 10 years since the Scottish Parliament implemented the 2012 homelessness commitment. MSPs of all parties promised that nobody who becomes homeless could be denied a permanent home. And yet at the start of 2022, that promise remains unfulfilled for thousands of households.

Homelessness is rising, a record number of children are trapped in temporary accommodation, councils are struggling to provide safe homes for people experiencing homelessness and tenants still wait too long (and pay too much) for a secure affordable home.

Nearly 12,000 children

were in households assessed as homeless in 2020-21



27,571 households

became homeless in Scotland between April 2020 and March 2021

Over 7,100 children

were living in temporary accommodation in March 2021

The next three years: 2022 - 2025

Our ambitions

Now moving into our second three-year strategic plan, our ambitions reflect where we can make the biggest difference.

A woman sitting on a bench in a park.

1. Social housing as the foundation of social justice

By 2025

We want everyone stuck in temporary accommodation to be able to access a social home quickly where they need it.

We will know we have been successful if:

  • more people can choose to live in social housing if they want to

  • local affordable housing need and waiting times in temporary accommodation are reduced

  • social tenants, supporters and elected members can advocate for increased public investment in social housing

2. Housing rights – right now

By 2025

We want everyone’s housing rights to be stronger and guaranteed by law.

We will know we have been successful if:

  • The United Nations' ‘Right to adequate housing’ is enforceable in Scots law

  • Public bodies do not breach their legal duties to people in need of a home

  • Everyone can defend their housing rights by accessing our advice services

A woman carrying her child in her home. Another child is playing behind her.

Three people talking outside.

3. People-powered change

By 2025

We want everyone in Scotland to be equipped to fight for home.

We will know we have been successful if:

  • individuals and communities are equipped with the tools to lead their own fight for home

  • the voices of communities most impacted by the housing emergency, especially People of Colour and marginalised groups, are heard by those in power

  • strengthened local and national strategic collaborations address housing inequalities

Home is everything

Two girls hugging.

Whether you are reading this as a Shelter Scotland supporter, a funder or potential funder, a partner, or if you are new to Shelter Scotland and our work, you have a role to play. We set ourselves ambitious goals in 2019 and they are now more urgent than ever. Change is only possible if we do it together.


Our 10-year strategy