Wednesday, 9 September 2009


Housing Assets, Housing People

A research conference for ISA RC 43 was held in Glasgow, Scotland, from September 1-4 2009. The conference was hosted by the Department of Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow. It was chaired by Kenneth Gibb, vice-convener of RC43. The purpose of the conference was to exchange international experience about the causes, impacts and policy responses associated with the credit crunch and major housing-economic recessions afflicting neighbourhoods, communities, cities and regions in different parts of the contemporary global economy.

The Housing Studies Association was a partner organisation to the conference and hosted a well-received special panel session on the future of housing tenure. This session was chaired by Paul Hickman and featured contributions form Dave Mullins, Hal Pawson and Duncan Maclennan.

In total, more than 220 delegates from 40+ countries participated in the successful four day conference. The Minister for housing and communities in the Scottish Government, Mr Alex Neil, addressed the conference at its opening plenary session. There were three plenary sessions featuring notable housing academics (Professors Dan Immergluck, Duncan Maclennan, Susan Smith, Yosuke Hiramaya and Chris Hamnett) who presented papers including a discussion of the madness of mortgage lenders (Hamnett) and a plea for more relevant evidenced-based housing policies fit for the present times (Maclennan). Smith presented a performativity-based case for introducing a house price futures financial instrument that is purported to reduce market volatility and allow households to hedge against capital losses. Hirayama provided an impressive overview of the current situation in Japan including a detailed account of unprecedented levels of urban homelessness in the capital, Tokyo. Immergluck set out the depth and geography of foreclosures in the United States.

The conference also featured, in addition to the HSA’s panel, a number of special sessions and more than 160 papers presented across a range of parallel sessions that ran throughout the conference. The conference was held in the iconic Mitchell Library in the city centre and use was also made for social events at the City’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, as well as the Peoples’ Palace Museum. There was also a full range of study tours and an urban housing archive kindly provided by the Mitchell Library. The conference organisers are very grateful to the support of a number of sponsors who contributed massively to the success of the conference:

• International Sociological Association
• Glasgow Housing Association
• Scottish Government
• Glasgow city council
• Joseph Rowntree Foundation
• Northern Ireland Housing Executive
• Taylor and Francis
• Emerald
• Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland
• Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Further information on papers, presentations and useful links can be found at the conference website

Kenneth Gibb
Conference Chair
Department of Urban Studies
University of Glasgow


See link below to the 2007/08 Citizenship Survey reports on Community Cohesion and Identity and Values:


Parr, S. (2009) "Confronting the reality of anti-social behaviour", Theoretical Criminology 13(3): 363–381.



Evaluation of projects under three European Commission Funds
This evaluation, commissioned by the UK Borders Agency, will evaluate projects delivered under three European Commission Funds designed to support managed migration into and out of the UK. These projects include the Gateway Protection Programme, a scheme through which the UK accepts up to 750 refugees a year under an international resettlement programme run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For more information about this study please contact David Robinson (

Citizenship, Community Cohesion and Perceived Inclusion among Young People
This DCSF commissioned project aims to describe the variation in levels of community cohesion, citizenship orientations and perceived inclusion among a cohort of young people. This will involve multi-level analysis of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England and the Youth Cohort Study in a bid to provide possible explanations of any significant variations found. For more information about this study please contact David Robinson (

Monday, 7 September 2009


On Friday 28 August some 35 people gathered in Cambridge for a seminar entitled ‘Housing requirements, housing demand and housing policy’ to mark the retirement of Alan Holmans from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research. In addition to a series of substantive papers, tributes were paid to Alan’s contributions to housing research and policy over many years, initially as chief economic adviser at the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and Department of the Environment from 1968 to 1994, and latterly as Research Fellow at CCHPR. Alan was given no choice about retiring from the Civil Service at 60 but Christine Whitehead made it clear that this time a desk will remain available to him, and that colleagues at CCPHR expect to continue working with him on a part time basis for some time to come. Alan also served as an HSA committee member for many years, and the committee would like to thank him for his contribution, and his dedication to the role of Treasurer.


Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning research has recently been commissioned by Communities and Local Government to evaluate the Enhanced Housing Options Trailblazers. This project, which will run over the next two years will evaluate the implementation, operation and success of the 42 Trailblazers programmes.

The Enhanced Housing Options Trailblazers are being run by CLG with support from the DWP. They aim to develop innovative approaches to delivering housing options/advice services, by offering housing advice to people with low and medium housing need as well as those with acute need, and also by linking housing advice to wider advice about a range of issues such as training and employment, financial management, and access to benefits. There is also a focus on making better use of existing social housing stock, and greater use of the private rented sector.

The evaluation is being lead by CCHPR, with involvement from Birmingham University (Centre for Urban and Regional Analysis) and Shared Intelligence.