Shelter Scotland

Housing support for minority ethnic groups in Scotland.






December 2021 – May 2023

Grant Awarded



Project summary

Research into the key issues that adults from some minority ethnic groups face at key transition points in accessing advice, and secure, affordable and suitable housing. Shelter Scotland will co-produce recommendations with those with lived experience to influence decision makers to make positive change.


Scotland has some of the most progressive housing legislation in the world, but for thousands, a safe, secure, and affordable home remains out of reach. We cannot address housing inequality and poverty without understanding how the most affected communities have been impacted by lack of access to good quality housing, a situation exacerbated by Covid-19.

People from minority ethnic communities are more likely to be living in relative poverty after housing costs than white Scottish people and face multiple barriers in finding and securing suitable housing and are over-represented in the homelessness system. They also experience poor housing conditions and high levels of overcrowding, contributing to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 amongst these groups. These groups are more likely to rent privately and have experienced disproportionate loss of income and financial pressure due to the nature of their employment which can be insecure (e.g. zero hours contracts) or cannot be undertaken from home (e.g. hospitality), placing them at increased risk of housing insecurity, eviction and homelessness. However, a recent Scottish Government review highlighted that a lack of research makes it difficult to define policy changes to improve access to affordable housing for minority ethnic communities in Scotland, and ultimately reduce their cost of living. Specifically, there is a gap in evidence on ‘the cultural and housing aspirations of specific ethnic groups, particularly post-Covid’.

Project overview

Shelter Scotland will address the lack of research around this topic to enable Scotland to move towards becoming a truly inclusive country.

This research will inform work centred around recovering from the pandemic, as well as a new Housing Bill, the delivery of the Ending Homelessness Together and Housing to 2040 strategies and the Scottish Social Housing Charter. With clear and strong data, we can ensure that all these initiatives are truly inclusive of the needs of people from monitory ethnic groups.