Friday, 6 June 2008

Inclusion Scotland 'Homes for Life' - Accessible & Affordable Housing in Scotland

Tuesday 17th June 2008, Glasgow Hilton

Why this conference needs to happen now!
It is recognised that there is a vast shortage of accessible, affordable housing in Scotland.
There doesn't seem to be any meaningful commitment by planners, builders or politicians to provide 'homes for life' for the one million disabled people in Scotland. This will mean that many disabled people will continue to live in houses that are inaccessible to them or inadequate for their needs.

Not only do we want this done 'for us', we also want to be part of the process by being involved and engaged at every stage of the planning, design and provision process. In other words - 'nothing about us, without us'.

Who should attend this conference?
  • Housing associations
  • Local authorities
  • Voluntary organisations
  • Disabled people's organisations
  • Builders, planners and architects
  • Policy and decision makers
  • Health and social work professionals
  • Anyone concerned bout the provision of accessible housing

A conference programme is already available together with a booking form. For more information contact Donna McSwiggan on 0141 887 7090

Monday, 2 June 2008

2008 Social Policy Association Conference, Edinburgh University, 23-25 June

The SPA annual conference is being hosted this year by Edinburgh University, 23-25 June. The theme of the conference is ‘Challenging Boundaries’. Throughout the world, traditional boundaries between territories, services and professions are being questioned. Nationalist ministers form the devolved government in Scotland and hold some offices in Wales and Northern Ireland, challenging UK policy norms. Policy learning is stronger than ever at the European and global level. Joined-up and citizen-centred government challenge organisational and professional structures.

Although the call for papers has now closed, delegate spaces are still available. Plenary speakers include: Ann S Orloff from Northwestern University in Canada; Wim van Oorschot from Tilberg University in the Netherlands; Walden Bello from the University of the Philippines and Michael Keating from the European University Institute in Italy. In addition, 150 papers will be presented across 5 paper sessions and will soon be available to view on the conference website.
For further details see:

HSA Annual Conference: Cardiff University 15-16th April 2009

Housing and Government: a decade of difference?

Over the past decade we have seen the emergence of fragmented policy-making in the UK with the devolution of varying amounts of power to new governments in North Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is argued that this has allowed the development of different approaches to, and frameworks for the provision and consumption of housing across the four jurisdictions.

This conference is intended to provide a space for reflection on the differences, similarities, constraints and opportunities that have emerged and explore the responses to problems and issues that have arisen.

Further details of the conference will be published during the summer. Keep checking the HSA website.

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Northern Ireland Housing Market Review and Perspectives 2008-11

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive recently published its twelfth annual Housing Market Review and Perspectives, which provides comprehensive information and analysis on the region’s housing market across all tenures and informs the Executive’s strategic intervention in the market.

Among its findings, the Review reports:

  • A growing waiting list for social housing;

  • Continuing difficulties for first time buyers;

  • The end of the boom in house prices;

  • Progress in housing standards;

  • Progress on energy efficiency; and

  • Growing levels of fuel poverty due to rising fuel costs.;
The Review and Perspectives draws on and complements a number of other ongoing and completed research projects, including the findings of the 2006 Northern Ireland House Condition Survey (full report due to be published later this year) and house price and affordability indicators such as the report on Housing Market Affordability in Northern Ireland 2006/07 and the Quarterly House Price Index series . The full Housing Market Review and Perspectives Report is also available on the Housing Executive’s web site.

Housing Research Bulletin

The Housing Research Bulletin, launched in 2005 and published twice yearly, aims to highlight the latest research on important housing issues, as well as providing signposts towards other useful, topical information produced by Government departments, universities and other bodies. It is distributed widely in Northern Ireland, and is also available to download from the Executive’s web site.

The sixth edition was published earlier this year, providing an update on some of the organisation’s most recent research activity, including:
  • Headline results from the 2006 Northern Ireland House Condition Survey (housing stock, tenure, age and unfitness, based on a sample of 7,250 dwellings);

  • Summary findings from the latest phase of a partnership project with the University of Ulster looking at the characteristics of the private rented sector in Northern Ireland; and

  • A baseline study of segregation on Housing Executive estates in Belfast, carried out for the Housing Executive by Queen’s University.;
The Bulletin is available to view at . Previous editions can also be downloaded at

EPSRC Consortium on Socio-economics of Climate Change

A major new research consortium has been launched looking at the local impacts of climate change. Funded by a £1.6m EPSRC grant to explore Community Resilience to Extreme Weather, the CREW research team will span fourteen UK universities and draw together a wide spectrum of academic disciplines including geography, climatology, engineering, economics, statistics, sociology, and earth sciences. The Extreme Weather Event Socio-Economic Model (EWESEM) work-stream will be overseen by Professor Gwilym Pryce from the Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, and will develop and integrate a suite of statistical models that quantify and simulate the local housing market effects of current and future extreme weather events. The EWESEM research will have a particular focus on the neighbourhood and house price impacts of climate change and flood risk.

Contact Gwilym Pryce for more details.

Local e-Government & Social Inclusion

CCHR staff and colleagues at De Montfort University were commission by the now Communities and Local Government to write a guide on best practice in local e-government and social inclusion among local authorities in England in 2003 and 2004. It draws primarily on the experience of Beacon Councils under round four of the programme of 'social inclusion through ICT'. The report emphasises council’s on-going role as strategic enablers in bringing together public, private and voluntary sector agencies in tackling the digital divide.

The full report ‘Local e-Government and Social Inclusion: Moving from a digital divide to social inclusion in 2003 and 2004’ is available to download from the department's website.

Housing Needs of Black & Minority Ethnic Communities

A study by the Centre for Comparative Housing Research for the National Housing Federation East Midlands highlights that the housing needs of ‘new’ black and minority ethnic groups such as migrant workers are not being addressed.

The report makes 17 recommendations and draws on good practice examples from a number of organisations including Foundation Housing Association, Leicester City Council and Tuntum Housing Association.

Key proposals include:
o Local authorities should produce black and minority ethnic housing strategies.
o All councils and housing associations must adopt choice-based lettings systems as soon as possible. There is strong evidence that it can increase housing opportunities for black and minority ethnic households.
o Black and minority ethnic housing associations should be supported and encouraged as they have an excellent track record of working with communities on meeting housing, training and social care needs.

The full report is available at:

Section 106 and Affordable Housing Provision in the East Midlands

The Centre for Comparative Housing Research, De Montford University has, together with several partners, completed a report on Section 106 agreements and affordable housing in the East Midlands.

The study involved a literature and ongoing policy review of affordable housing and planning agreements and a questionnaire survey of local authorities. The report makes recommendations in the form of a checklist of twelve actions to help improve performance on the delivery of affordable housing through the planning system.

The full report is available at: