Thursday, 28 November 2013

Call For Papers: Housing Studies Association Annual Conference 2014, Tuesday 15th - Thursday 17th April, University of York, 'The Value of Housing'

Papers are invited from academics and practitioners in housing and related disciplines for the HSA’s 2014 Conference. The value of housing in recent years has focused on the negative financial aspects arising from economic recession. As we move towards recovery, important debates are on-going around access to and availability of affordable and appropriate housing across all tenures and all generations. This draws attention to the wider value that we place on housing in society. Individually a house is valued for meeting the most basic of needs – something that is starkly exposed by the multitude of problems that arise from being homeless or repossessed. The value of housing also becomes inextricably linked with neighbourhoods, social environments and landscapes of opportunity; access to communities, labour markets, education, health. Increasingly housing is being re-positioned from wobbly pillar to lynch pin of asset-based welfare policy. In this new era, the HSA conference provides an opportunity to discuss and debate these economic, social and moral values of housing.

Keynote Speakers will focus on three main themes:
  • The value of housing to welfare
  • A discussion around who is best placed to judge the value of housing
  • The value of housing to the national economy
Confirmed Speakers include:
  • Julia Unwin, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Misa Izuhara, University of Bristol
  • Paul Tennant, Orbit (and President of CIH)
  • Vidhya Alaekson, Resolution Foundation
  • Ruth Davison, National Housing Federation
  • Ben Harrison, Centre for Cities
  • Alex Marsh, University of Bristol
Papers addressing aspects of housing policy, practice or theory are welcome on (but not limited to):
  • The value of housing in poverty eradication
  • Value of housing to occupants - sociological, identity, family, health, etc
  • Costs of not having housing - homelessness, temporary accommodation, and welfare benefit changes
  • Measuring the value of housing
  • Value for money of investment in housing
  • Protecting the value of housing wealth
  • The value of home across the life course
  • The moral discourse of housing supply and availability
  • The value of housing for asset-based welfare
  • Land values; housing shortages
  • The value of housing’s wider-role
Offers of papers (a title and 200 word abstract) should be emailed to Anna Clarke and Beverley Searle by Friday 31 January. (Please note the organisers reserve a right to edit abstracts that exceed the 200 word limit).
An Early Career Stream will run in parallel with the main conference. Abstracts for this stream (also 200 word limit) should be sent to Gareth Young and Ben Pattison by Friday 31 January. Early Career delegates will be invited to submit a written paper after the conference in order to be considered for the Valerie Karn Memorial Prize.
Six bursaries, jointly funded by the HSA and Housing Studies Charitable Trust are available providing financial support for attending the conference. Details can be found on the HSA website.
For further details see the HAS website:  

CRESR Policy Forum – Understanding social value: perspectives from the public and voluntary sectors

This policy forum aims to bring together researchers, policy makers and practitioners from the public and voluntary sectors to discuss their understanding and experiences of social value, particularly in the context of the Public Services (Social Value) Act, and the drive to commission better outcomes for people from disadvantaged and socially excluded groups.Three short presentations will be followed 30-45 minutes of facilitated discussion involving panellists and wider attendees.
  • Chris Dayson, Sheffield Hallam University – What is social value and how can it be commissioned? Different stakeholder perspectives and why they matter
  • Rachel Rhodes, National Association of Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) – The voluntary sector and local authorities: working together to maximise social value
  • Lerleen Willis, Sheffield City Council Public Health Intelligence Team - Reflections from the CLAHRC South Yorkshire  Public Health SROI Development Programme
Wednesday 4 December 4.00-5.30pm Venue: Room 7506 in the Stoddart Building, City Campus, Sheffield Hallam University.

News from Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research

New Appointments at CCHPR
Professor Michael Oxley, BSc (econ), MSc, PhD will take up the post of Director of CCHPR on 1st January 2014 succeeding Peter Williams who will continue as a fellow in the Centre. Mike is currently Professor of Housing at De Montfort University and a Visiting fellow at Delft University of Technology. After a lectureship in Economics at Reading University, he joined De Montfort in 1974, becoming Director of the Centre for Comparative Housing Research in 1995. He moved to Nottingham Trent University in 1999 to head the Centre for Residential Development before returning to De Montfort in 2005. Mike has an extensive publication list including his book Economics, Planning and Housing, published by Palgrave in 2004 and strong track record in funded research including the ESRC.

Sam Morris joins CCHPR from IFF Research, one of the largest independent research companies in the UK covering public and private sectors. Sam has a BA in Geography and a MA in Environment and Development. Between 2007 and 2011 he worked for Fordham Research on housing needs and strategic housing market assessments. Sam has a wide range of research expertise covering survey design and data analysis. He is working on the JRF funded project on poverty and housing organisations and the Shelter backed study on property investment.

New outputs

New estimates of housing demand and need in England, 2011-2031, by Alan Holmans
Key findings include the abrupt break with longer term trends in household formation in England between 2001 and 2011. Net additional household formation was down by some 20%,with almost 1 million fewer one-person households in 2011 than had been projected.
There were also other large scale shifts in the mix of household types, with far more couple-plus-other-adult households and multi-adult households than expected. In part this is about younger people staying at home or sharing accommodation for longer. But that is not the whole story as changes are observed in all age groups.
The official projections include the effects of the financial crisis and the subsequent recession, but these are not the only reason why household formation was so far below trend. A full copy of the paper is available from

Managing hearing loss in vulnerable groups of the Cambridgeshire D/deaf communities 
This study is the second of two pieces of research exploring the use of different services in Cambridgeshire by people who are D/deaf. The first study found that there were gaps in service provision and knowledge about three vulnerable groups:
1. Older people in rural isolated areas
2. Older people in care homes
3. D/deaf people in need of advocacy services
This second report presents the findings of how these three groups are supported to manage their hearing loss in Cambridgeshire. Download the PDF 

The changing delivery of planning gain through Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy The aim of this research was to consider the issues shaping the delivery of planning obligations through S106 and to explore the potential impact of the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), particularly on the delivery of affordable housing. It builds on a previous study exploring the impact of the downturn on delivery of planning obligations through S106 and the impact of the transition to the CIL. The findings show that it is the complex interplay of local market conditions, site specific factors, local policy, practice and expertise that shape the level of planning gain that is viable on individual schemes, rather than simply the CIL rate or affordable housing policy. Download a PDF version here

Building an effective safety net for home owners and the housing market
Mortgage arrears and possessions have not risen to the levels suffered in the last housing market downturn – mainly due to the sharp fall in interest rates, and temporary industry and Government support measures – but with the downturn continuing they are forecast to rise substantially.Mortgage arrears are a systemic feature of home-ownership. Events beyond the control of the households concerned – e.g. loss of income due to unemployment, ill-health or household break-ups – cannot be eradicated by a more prudent mortgage lending regime.The current UK safety net for home-buyers is patchy, and is set to be weakened further under Universal Credit and with a further decline in the take-up of mortgage payment protection insurance because of new rules governing the sales process. Voluntary take-up had already declined before the downturn so there can be no credible return to the prior policy of relying on this.The study highlights two key options for providing a more effective safety net while balancing out risks, responsibilities, roles and costs. The most effective would be a compulsory new partnership, similar to the Sustainable Home Ownership Partnership (SHOP) scheme. The scope and costs of the scheme could be modified by making longer-term benefit payments a charge on the borrowers' homes. A second option would be a new partnership structure based around continued forbearance, an auto-enrolled private insurance system and a state-backed payment system, with longer-term costs being charged to homes. This report is available from the
JRF website

Social housing in the East: Challenges for the region and implications for the UK
This report is designed to inform the strategic thinking of national and local government and the social housing sector. It also aims to build public understanding of the key challenges and opportunities that the region will face in the future. Download the report here

Analysis of the potential value for money to the public purse of the Lincolnshire Home Improvement Agency Housing Options Advice service
This report analyses the potential savings to the public purse of the Lincolnshire Home Improvement Agency (LHIA) housing options advice service. The methodology builds on research conducted for the large scale evaluation of the national FirstStop service conducted by the University of Cambridge. The analysis shows that the service has the potential to not only improve the quality of life, health, wellbeing and social isolation of individuals who use the housing options service, but to also generate savings to the public purse by preventing homelessness, unwanted or early entry into residential care, falls in the home, health deterioration as a result of unsuitable housing and can reduce under-occupation and free up much needed family housing, whilst helping older people to remain healthy and independent in the most suitable housing for their needs. A PDF version of this report can be downloaded

New Projects
Evaluation of the FirstStop Information and Advice Initiative
FirstStop is an independent, free service offering advice and information to older people, their families and carers about housing and care options in later life. It is led by the charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel (EAC) in partnership with other national and local organisations and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). FirstStop delivers information and advice through a national telephone helpline and website. FirstStop has also seed-funded a number of local information and advice services which aim to raise the profile of housing options for older people in their area and to provide a face to face case work service to older people. The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research has been evaluating the FirstStop service since 2009 and will continue to work closely with FirstStop through 2013/14.

Poverty focused review of housing organisations’ strategic and business plans The Joseph Rowntree foundation has commissioned CCHPR to carry out a poverty-focussed review of housing organisations’ strategic and business plans. With input from Savills, this project will explore where poverty fits within the strategies, policies and business plans of local authorities, housing associations and private landlords. It will involve detailed analysis of business plans, housing and organisational strategies, annual reports, tenancy strategies, allocations and lettings policies and other relevant strategies. It will also assess the implementation of strategies, policies and business plans, with a view to assessing how far practice converges with, or diverges from, strategy. It will cover different housing market areas in order to assess how far housing market type is a factor affecting organisations or individuals approach to addressing poverty within their strategic and operational functions.

Sustainable Access for Starters on the the Amsterdam Housing Market - Centre for Urban Studies, The University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

This report has been commissioned by the Ministry of Interior Affairs in the Netherlands and conducted by four researchers from the Centre for Urban Studies: Richard Ronald, Willem Boterman, Cody Hochstenbach and Marijn Sleurink. The executive summary is available for download from Center for Urban Studies