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Social Housing and Community-Assets

Social Housing and Community-Assets

A review of recent publications which, critical of the ways faith based organisations engage with the provision of homeless services, advocate the adoption of a liberation theology approach which argues that individual charity is not enough and that effective interventions require the development of social movements which challenge the systemic causes of homelessness.(In press)

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New research into the housing and social impact of community land trusts (CLTs) has been published by the Centre for Housing Research. The study, funded by the British Academy and conducted by Dr Tom Moore, highlights the important role performed by CLTs in developing affordable homes held in community ownership, and suggests key mechanisms that can support their future growth.

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Drawing on papers from a recent ESRC seminar series of the same name, this special issue edited by McKee offers a critique of contemporary UK political and policy debates relating to the Big Society and housing policy. By drawing out wider narratives around localism, empowerment, citizenship and welfare reform the special issue also has a much broader, international relevance beyond the devolved policy context of the UK. It features papers from Dr Tony Manzi (University of Westminster); Prof. Keith Jacobs (University of Westminster); Prof. John Flint (University of Sheffield); and a co-authored paper by Dr Peter Matthews (University of Stirling), Prof. Glen Bramley (Heriot-Watt) and Prof. Annette Hastings (University of Glasgow).

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Low pay, high house prices and a small rental sector mean that the housing market in the UK has many inherent risks. Few households have enough savings to cover their housing costs for more than a month if they lost their job. Growing numbers of households rely on the safety net to prevent them becoming homeless if they fall on tough times. Successive governments have made changes to the housing safety net so that it now provides less support to fewer people.
Mindful of these trends, Shelter commissioned the University of St Andrews to assess the gaps in the UK’s current housing safety net. The research estimates the number of households falling through the net or at risk of falling through, the characteristics of those at risk and the main risk factors leading people to fall through the net.

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Drawing on papers from across the seminar series as a whole this briefing explores the possibilities, opportunities and challenges localism offers to community-based and non-profit housing in the UK, whilst highlighting the nuances and subtleties that exist in different jurisdictions according to the devolved nature of policymaking and local contexts.

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Drawing on presentations given across the seminar series as a whole this briefing paper (no 1) explores the interconnections between the Big Society, and that of the current welfare reform agenda being advanced by the UK coalition government.

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Dr Tom Moore has published a new working paper titled ‘Scaling-up or going-viral: comparing self-help housing and community land trust facilitation’. The paper is co-authored with Professor David Mullins at the Third Sector Research Centre, University of Birmingham. It explores the recent growth of community land trusts and self-help housing initiatives to see which forms of support have been effective in helping them flourish and discusses the implications of this for their future development.

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Research by St Andrews University and a group of international practitioners says radical thinking is needed to shape a new, entrepreneurial and thriving rental housing sector. The new research - led by Professor Duncan Maclennan and Sharon Chisholm for the Centre for Housing Research (CHR) at the University of St Andrews – calls for a more enterprising and innovative approach in housing alongside a continuing focus on supporting communities and help to improve people’s lives.
The study, New Times, New Business: Housing Provision in Times of Austerity, was being launched today (Friday 1 February 2013) at Glasgow Housing Association’s Training Academy in Glasgow city centre. GHA, which is part of the Wheatley Housing Group, was one of six partners in the research project.

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The New Times, New Business partners today released their final report at the GHA Academy. The full book is available for free download on the CHR website. Paperback copies can be purchased for £3.70 per copy, with a minimum order of 10. Please contact Sharon Chisholm to arrange. A 2 page summary of the main findings is also available. Press release follows.

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In this study, we examine the idea of localism in the context of housing policy and as mediated by the experience of devolution in England and Scotland. After considering arguments for adopting localism in principle, we examine the meaning and limitations of the concept when account is taken of the real nature of housing systems. This forms the basis for a consideration of the experience of localism in the context of social housing provision. We conclude that the implementation of localism by UK policy-makers has exhibited shortcomings and the emerging interpretation of localism may lead to policy dumping rather than enhanced real local autonomy.
(2013, Housing Studies,Routledge, London)

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