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CCHPR 2014: A year of change

2014 was a year of change in CCHPR, marked by the first year of Michael Oxley as Director and the retirement in the summer of Sarah Monk after many years as Deputy Director. The new projects started in the year were diverse in terms of their objectives, funding source and size. We continued to win competitive tenders for the provision of policy and practice relevant research for a range of agencies.

Introduction

2014 was a year of change in CCHPR marked by the first year of Michael Oxley as Director and the retirement in the summer of Sarah Monk, after many years as Deputy Director. Sarah was subsequently elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. The Academy, whose mission is to promote social sciences in the United Kingdom for the public benefit, have recognized Sarah as a leading researcher in the field of housing, urban economics and planning. Congratulations to Sarah on this achievement and many thanks for her invaluable contribution to the successes of CCHPR.


New Projects

The new projects started in the year were diverse in terms of their objectives, funding source and size. We have continued to win competitive tenders for the provision of policy and practice relevant research for a range of agencies. For example, Centrepoint, the youth homeless charity, commissioned CCHPR to provide up to date estimates of the number of young people experiencing homelessness in the UK during a year; the DWP commissioned CCHPR to undertake a series of qualitative interviews with households affected by the benefit cap; the Welsh Government asked CCHPR to examine housing need in Wales and how it is expected to evolve in the coming years, and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills commissioned CCHPR to examine the potential for greater sharing of regulatory data between regulators in order to increase regulatory efficiency and reduce the burden of regulation on business.

The average size of our projects was boosted by the award of an ESRC grant to examine the role of housing and housing providers in tackling poverty experienced by young people in the UK: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Start-Year/2014/role-housing-housing-providers-tackling-poverty-experienced-young-people-UK/Project-Website . This is part of the ESRC “What Works in Tackling Poverty” programme which is being led by the Public Policy Institute for Wales to provide vital evidence about what governments and other agencies can do to address the growing problems of in-work poverty, indebtedness and poverty experienced by young people living outside the parental home. This project is an example of how we are working with others to develop and carry out applied housing research.  In this two year research programme we are working in partnership with Centrepoint, the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, and Housing Europe: the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing.

Lloyds Banking Group established a Housing Commission in 2014 to examine policy changes that would tackle housing affordability and supply. CCHPR was pleased to be appointed by Lloyds to provide research-based evidence to assist the Commission. As part of this work Michael Oxley gave presentations as a member of panels, set up by the banking group, at the Conservative and Labour party conferences.

The very strong policy orientation to our activities was also apparent in the research commissioned by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee. This assisted the Committee in its investigation of the impact of planning constraints on the provision of housing.

CCHPR combined with the newly established Cambridge Real Estate Research Centre in the Department of Land Economy to conduct research for the Investment Property Forum into the prospects for institutional investment in social housing. The work examined strategic options that could help institutional investors expand their investment in the social housing sector, primarily through partnership with housing associations. It looked at both the barriers and the opportunities for such investment in social housing.

With the aid of an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account award for a project entitled “Promoting policy change to boost the supply of affordable housing”, we used new ways to present and disseminate our research. The activities included making a short film on policy options for expanding house building:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlaQoxEBdQM.  The film helped stimulate debate at a policy workshop in Cambridge, which was facilitated by the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy, and a round table discussion in Parliament.  Both events were attended by housing policy and practice professionals. These have led to ongoing discussions about taking forward ideas for increasing the rate of housing construction.

Details of all our projects started in 2014 can be found on our website: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Start-Year/2014


Ongoing Projects

We also continued in 2014 with several projects that had begun in previous years. For example, CCHPR has been evaluating the FirstStop service since 2009 and will continue to work closely with FirstStop. This 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).  A report that explores the progress of the local housing options services funded by FirstStop was published in 2014. http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Start-Year/2010/FirstStop2010/FirstStop-Report-on-progress-of-funded-local-partners-2013-14

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation commissioned CCHPR to carry out a poverty-focused review of housing organisations’ strategic and business plans. With input from Savills, this project explored where poverty fits within the strategies, policies and business plans of local authorities, housing associations and private landlords. An interim report was published in 2014: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Start-Year/2013/Poverty-Focused-Review/Interim-Report

CCHPR, together with Ipsos MORI, was commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions to evaluate housing benefit changes in the social rented sector. The ‘removal of the spare room subsidy’ involved introducing size criteria for the social rented sector in April 2013 in order to reduce housing benefit for working age tenants deemed to have spare bedrooms. This evaluation seeks to understand the impact of the size criteria on claimants, landlords and other stakeholders and to explore how households respond to the reduction in their benefits. The Interim Report on the Evaluation of the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (often referred to as the 'bedroom tax') was published in July 2014. The report explores the effects of the cuts to Housing Benefit for working age social housing tenants who are deemed to be under-occupying their home:

http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Start-Year/2013/Spare-Room-Subsidy-Household-Benefit-Cap/Interim-Report

More information about current projects is available from our website: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/CurrentProjects

A full list of reports on completed projects is also available on our website: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Publications/Reports


Research Excellence Framework

The work of CCHPR contributed to the Department of Land Economy’s success in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.  Land Economy's research was assessed as part of a combined submission with Cambridge’s Department of Architecture to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning Panel. The overall results for the submission are extremely strong with over 50% of research work rated as World Leading, with 88% World Leading or internationally excellent.  See:

http://www.landecon.cam.ac.uk/news/2014-research-excellence-framework-results-show-land-economy-as-world-leading


Publications and Presentations

We continued to publish in academic and practice journals including Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, International Journal of Housing Policy, Journal of Agricultural Economics, RICS Property Journal and Tijdschrift voor de Volkshuisvesting.

See Appendix I below and: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Publications

CCHPR staff gave presentations at several national and international conferences including the Housing Studies Association (York), the European Network for Housing Research (Edinburgh), the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (Warrington) and the IPD/IPF Property Investment Conference (Brighton). Gemma Burgess addressed the International Conference on Urban Studies and Planning in Athens and the Local Public Finance and Housing Policy Conference in Herzliya, Israel. Michael Oxley gave an open lecture at Harvard University, USA, for the Joint Center for Housing Studies and gave lecture and seminar presentations at several locations in China including: Shenzhen Real Estate Research Centre; School of Public Administration, Renmin University of China, Beijing; and the School of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University.

For more information on conferences and presentations, see Appendix II below and: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Publications/Presentations


International Collaboration

Our international collaboration was furthered by hosting Professor John Goering from City University New York on his sabbatical from the USA in which he continued his comparative research in the field of fiscal reductions in support for housing programs in the US and the UK.  We were also pleased to facilitate the Land Economy seminar presentation on “The politics of land supply and affordable housing: Auckland’s housing accord and special housing areas” given by Professor Laurence Murphy from the Department of Property at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. In the summer we happily gave some work experience to Richmond Ehwi from Ghana.  Richmond, a Land Economy MPhil student, provided some very useful help with our work for the Lloyds Banking Group.

Our work on institutional investment in social housing for the Investment Property Forum included an international dimension that was provided in collaboration with colleagues at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.


Advisory Board

The work of CCHPR is supported by an external advisory group that helps us set our strategic direction and provides valuable advice on priorities and opportunities. We thank all those people who gave their time generously as members of the advisory group in 2014, in particular Professor Tony Crook who will retire in 2015 after providing wise guidance and support through his contributions to the Board over many years.  For the current Advisory Board membership, see: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/directory/AdvisoryGroup


Invitations

Finally, we continue to welcome invitations to tender for policy and practice related housing and planning research projects. We also welcome invitations to engage in collaborative research bids and projects with academic and practice based partners. Please email: landecon-cchpr-lists@cam.ac.uk

For more information about the work of CCHPR, please see the other sections of our website: http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk

 


APPENDIX I

Journal Articles in 2014

Refereed Journal Articles

Burgess, G and Morrison, N (2014) Inclusionary housing policy in England: the impact of the downturn on the delivery of affordable housing through Section 106. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Volume 29, Issue 3 423-438 (published online 2013)

Tang, C P Y (2014) A Review of ‘Affordable and social housing: policy and practice’. Edited by Paul Reeves. International Journal of Housing Policy, 14 (4) 451-453

Udagawa, C, Hodge, I and Reader, M (2014) Farm level costs of agri-environment measures: the impact of Entry Level Stewardship on cereal farm incomes. Journal of Agricultural Economics 65 (1) 212-233

Policy and Practice Articles

Burgess, G and Monk, S (2014) Building strategies. Residential Land Supply Journal RICS. September/October 2014.

Clarke, A ‘Opinion: Landlords’ need to tackle poverty has never been greater’ (2014) 24Dash.com 18th September 2014  www.24dash.com/news/housing/2014-09-18-Opinion-Landlords-need-to-tackle-poverty-has-never-been-greater

Hoekstra, J and Oxley, M (2014)  FISCALE STIMULANSEN ZORGEN VOOR INVESTERINGEN IN FRANSE PARTICULIERE HUURSECTOR,   TIJDSCHRIFT VOOR DE VOLKSHUISVESTING , Number 4,  August 2014

Oxley, M (2014) A Review of “Young people and housing transitions, trajectories and generational fractures”.  Edited by Ray Forrest and Ngai ming Yip, International Journal of Housing Policy, 14:1, 107-109

 

APPENDIX II

Conferences and other Presentations in 2014

Conferences 

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Stratford upon Avon

13 –14 February

Paul Sanderson

‘Optimising regulatees’ disposition to comply: Observations from research on regulatees’ attitudes to code compliance.’  2014 Year Ahead.

Westminster Briefing Conference

London

25 February

Michael Oxley, Chair

Providing Homes for Generation Rent: Developing a Private Rented Sector Fit for Purpose.

Housing Studies Association Conference

York

15 –17 April

Anna Clarke and Sam Morris

A poverty focused review of housing organisations’ strategic and business plans: early findings ‘How can landlords address poverty?’

Housing Studies Association Conference

 York

16 April

Michael Oxley

Conditional object incentives: more value for UK housing subsidies?

International Conference on Urban Studies and Planning

Athens

9 –12 June

Gemma Burgess

Conference paper: ‘Mechanisms to increase housing land supply in England’

Plenary session: ‘Place-based Specialisation and Growth Opportunities in a Global Context’

European Network for Housing Research Conference

Edinburgh

3 July

Michael Oxley and Jo Richardson

Boosting affordable UK housing supply through conditional object incentives: can comparative studies and knowledge exchange help us learn lessons?

Shenzhen Real Estate Research Centre International Housing Seminar

Shenzhen, China

7 September

Michael Oxley

Social housing policies in the UK.

ELSA (English Longitudinal Study of Ageing) User Conference

 

Royal Institute of Physics, London

 

23 October

Chihiro Udagawa attended

 

Economic and Social Research Council/  British Academy Housing Conference

 

London

29 October

Gemma Burgess

attended

The Future of UK Housing

IPD/IPF Property Investment Conference

 

Brighton

20 November

Michael Oxley

Prospects for institutional investment in social housing.

Local Public Finance and Housing Policy Conference

 

Gazit-Globe Real Estate Institute at IDC Herzliya, Israel

14 –18 December

Gemma Burgess

Keynote speech: ‘Case study UK: rising house prices and under supply’.

 

Other presentations 

University of Cambridge, Land Economy Seminar

Cambridge

26 February

Michael Oxley

The role of policy in influencing differences between countries in the size of the private rented housing sector.

House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee

 

London

2 March

Michael Oxley and Sarah Monk

Findings: Research on the nature of planning constraints.

Professional Standards Authority

Windsor

28 March

Paul Sanderson

‘Optimising regulatees’ disposition to comply: Observations from research on regulatees’ attitudes to code compliance.‘  Improving professional regulation in health and social care: interdisciplinary insights.

Centre for Business Law and Practice

School of Law, University of Leeds

19 June

Paul Sanderson

‘Accounting to stakeholders under conditions of uncertainty’.  Accountability in Corporate Governance and Financial Institutions.

 

FirstStop

Birmingham

16 July

Gemma Burgess

Demonstrating impact: evaluation of the FirstStop initiative.

Lecture: School of Public Administration, Renmin University of China, Beijing

Beijing, China

12 September

Michael Oxley

Social housing policies in the UK.

Lecture: School of Public Administration, Nanjing Agricultural University

Nanjing, China

15 September

Michael Oxley

Social housing policies in the UK.

Labour Party Conference – event hosted by Lloyds Banking Group

Manchester

22 September

Michael Oxley

Housing Policy Options.

Conservative Party Conference - event hosted by Lloyds Banking Group

Birmingham

30 September

Michael Oxley

Housing Policy Options.

All Party Parliamentary Group for Social Science and Policy

 

House of Commons

21 October

Gemma Burgess

Housing supply – challenges for policy makers.

Open Lecture, Harvard University – hosted by Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies

 

Harvard, USA

22 October

Michael Oxley

Internationally Comparative Housing Research: What is the point?

 

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