The Centre lists all publications and papers from our researchers and associates. Where copyright prohibits us from providing the full document, we provide a link to where you will find the paper. You may use our search categories -on your left- or search with your own criteria -above.
Soaita, A. M. (2013). Book review: 'Social Housing across Europe' by Noémie Houard (Ed) Paris: Imprimerie de la Direction legale et administrative, 362 pp.; €20 paperback, ISBN 978-2-11-008849-9, Urban Studies, 50(10).
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.
What can we learn, from international best practice and from within the UK, that could help support the expanded financing of affordable housing supply?
This report reviews international evidence from selected case studies, as well as examples from specific UK nations. It also looks in detail at a small set of specific promising case study policies.
• in a challenging fiscal context, innovation is needed to stretch limited public subsidy and increase private contributions to help deliver additional affordable housing.
• the evidence review indicates that in order to encourage new investment, supply is likely to be at the affordable rather than the social housing end of the spectrum. This is despite the pressures on Housing Benefit and high and increased levels of housing need.
• While interesting ideas that are worth exploration and possible transfer are evident, financial measures such as those discussed here need to be understood in a wider policy context of housing system failure and the continuing need to support new housing for those on low incomes
Journal of Environment and Planning A (In Press). This paper examines aspects of space consumption in two very different housing types, the communist mid-rise estates and post-communist suburban self-built housing. Examining residents’ perceptions in order to categorize space as overcrowded or under-occupied, the paper engages critically with the issue of the inefficient distribution of Romanian housing, that is a considerable mismatch between dwelling and household size. The analysis documents the continued salience of overcrowding in the communist estates and conversely, self-builders’ satisfaction with the generous size of their new homes. Market forces permit various modes of residential mobility but their likely outcome is growing housing inequality while any redistributive impact will remain insignificant unless policy incentives could facilitate conversion of under-occupied space into (social) renting housing. However, only a sustained delivery of larger and affordable new dwellings could alleviate overcrowding.
Cook N, Smith SJ, Searle BA (2013). Housing, Theory and Society.
This paper assesses the relevance of mortgage-led consumption for the assemblage of home. Drawing on qualitative research completed in the UK, we show how the materials and meanings of owner occupation are constituted by, and experienced through, the accumulation and deployment of secured debt. This is enabled by a particular financial regime, in which the proceeds of equity borrowing are freed for discretionary expenditure. Homes and their contents thus acquire the status of ‘debted objects’, and these form an interface between the financial and familial values comprising residential space. By attending to these mortgage-enabled purchases, we expose and evaluate the myriad ways in which equity borrowings animate the assemblage of home, adding value to property, linking domestic space with distant geographies, and inspiring the art of dwelling. (Link to follow)
Ong, R, Parkinson, S, Searle, BA, Smith, SJ and Wood G (2013). In Press for Housing Studies.
This paper uses micro-data from two national panel surveys to analyse the flow of wealth from residential property onto households’ balance sheets, where it is available for discretionary spending. The examples are Australia and the UK – two of the world’s most entrenched nations of owner occupation, both with relatively complete mortgage markets. We focus on the early 2000s, which set the scene for an unprecedented wave of housing equity withdrawal. We consider equity released through sales and through additional borrowing. The findings show that equity extraction overall is not only (or even) a function of higher incomes, greater wealth and older age. Rather, it occurs across the life course, and is linked to pressing spending needs. We draw attention in particular to the growing social and economic significance of in situ equity borrowing – a practice whose financial buffering effects may form a short-lived prelude, rather than a sustainable alternative, to trading on or selling up. (Link to follow)
Wood, G., Parkinson, S., Searle, B. A. and Smith, S. J (2013) . In press for Urban Studies.
During the early 2000s, mortgage market innovation together with home price appreciation increased the scope for mortgage equity withdrawal. From a macro-economic perspective, this proved to be an increasingly important transmission mechanism for the wealth (particularly collateral) effects of housing. Micro-economic accounts of equity borrowing are less well developed, since standard models of savings and consumption rarely take housing wealth into account. This paper, however, builds on a small but growing literature assigning a precautionary savings role to consumption from housing wealth. The analysis uses panel data sourced from Britain and Australia to model households’ motivations for equity borrowing. Key among these motivations are pressing, uninsurable, ostensibly short-term, spending needs. In these contexts, we propose that equity borrowing assumes a welfare-switching role, substituting privately owned housing wealth for collectively funded safety-nets. (Link to follow)
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.
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.
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)