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UK Statistics Authority publish new user-focused review of housing and planning statistics

last modified Nov 13, 2017 11:55 AM

Access to secure, affordable housing that is in good condition is crucial to health and wellbeing, and housing statistics are therefore of immense public value.  They need to be available, useful and reliable so that decision-makers and those who want to understand or influence housing and planning are properly informed.  This review looked at the volume and variety of official housing statistics, identifying good practice as well as areas for improvement.  The OSR will now engage with housing and planing statistics producers across the UK to determine how best to support those improvements. 

Mike Oxley and Anna Clarke provided advice and input into this report.

BBC Money Box Live tackles rent controls

last modified Oct 30, 2017 09:47 AM

Anna Clarke joined representatives of Generation Rent and the RLA on Radio 4's Money Box Live (25/10/17) to talk about rent controls and whether or not they could work in the UK.

In this edition of Money Box Live, Adam Shaw examined how bad things are for tenants and whether rent cap schemes in Germany and Sweden have helped or hindered the market for both landlord and tenant. Have a listen.


Peter Williams publishes work on Older Home Owners and Generational Transfers

last modified Oct 16, 2017 09:37 AM

Peter Williams, former director of CCHPR, focuses on the issue of rising intergenerational inequality, triggered directly or indirectly via the housing market and looks at how this issue can impact on notions and reality of asset based welfare. Although the chapter focuses on England, many countries have ageing populations and the issues concerned are widespread.

Peter's work has been published in Generational Interdependencies: the social implications for welfare, edited by Dr Beverley Searle and published by Vernon Press.


Using incentives to improve the PRS for people in poverty: international policy review

last modified Oct 10, 2017 11:54 AM

With the help of international experts, CCHPR have been looking at policy interventions used in other countries to improve the private rented sector for people living in poverty. The international policy review, which identifies examples with potential for use in England, is now available. For more information about the research, visit the project's home page on our website. 

Gemma Burgess - new Junior Proctor for University of Cambridge

last modified Oct 05, 2017 03:57 PM

Everyone who has worked with Gemma will know her boundless energy and enthusiasm and won't be surprised to learn she has taken on the role of Junior Proctor for the University for 2017/18.  She is the twelfth woman to do so in the University's 800 year proctorial history and we wish her every success in her role (which we should say fits round all her research commitments!).

How does timebanking impact a community?

last modified Sep 04, 2017 11:38 AM

The impact of timebanking on individuals, communities and wider society is explored in a newly published case study focusing on the Littleport and Ely Timebank in Cambridgeshire. The differing levels of impact on volunteers were explored as were the outcomes for the local community. 

The impact of letting agent fees on tenants in Wales

last modified Aug 29, 2017 02:59 PM
The Welsh Government has published CCHPR's report on research into Welsh Letting Agent Fees to tenants.

The issue of letting agents fees to tenants is a concern across the UK. The formation of Rent Smart Wales in 2015 and the passing of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 provide some protection for households in Wales but the costs involved in private renting remain a concern to the Welsh Government.

Following a comprehensive survey of Welsh letting agents, the report provides a review of existing practice in Wales and sets it in the context of lessons which can be learnt from other devolved governments in the UK.  It concluded that there was a need to balance the desire to ease the burden on low-income households against the need for agents to cover their costs and this may be achieved by a ban on fees to tenants, along the lines of those in place in Scotland.

To read more about the research and the report, click here.

Malaysian public lecture slides released

last modified Sep 19, 2017 03:30 PM
Mike Oxley is currently in Kuala Lumpur providing technical expertise on housing policy to the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government of Malaysia.

Mike's recent public lecture should be of interest to anyone looking for a comprehensive insight into housing policy and market failure. The lecture slides are available here.

For more information about how the expertise of CCHPR's researchers can help your organisation, contact us by phone or email.

New report published gives insight into how landlords make decisions

last modified Jul 31, 2017 10:50 AM
A new report was published this week: Landlord portfolio management - past and future.

The research behind the report, Landlord portfolio management -  past and future, was commissioned by Shelter. It explores how landlords manage their portfolios and make decisions over buying and selling stock, how landlords manage their businesses, how this might affect tenants and how this might change in the future.

The research found that private rented sector is owned and managed by a very diverse group of landlords who are likely to respond in different ways to economic and fiscal changes. Overall it would appear that decisions over whether to purchase new properties are much more easily influenced than decisions to sell. The overall conclusion of this qualitative research was that the landlords interviewed showed a strong commitment to the private rented sector and are not likely to leave in a hurry.

Evictions reach a record high - new report for JRF published

last modified Jul 24, 2017 10:04 AM
The number of tenants evicted from their properties reached a record high, according to a new report highlighting the misery and insecurity faced by renters struggling on low incomes.

According to recent research carried out by CCHPR for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the growing gap between rents and support for housing costs is a key factor behind the rise in private rented sector evictions.

The research included in depth interviews with tenants on low incomes and identified the high levels of stress and disruption caused by insecure housing.

'With the £50 a month [housing benefit shortfall] coming out of the JSA - that's almost a week's money in itself - and then you've got the other bills...I just couldn't make it work. I had to choose... do I pay the rent... electricity... buy some food?'

Changes in welfare benefits have not kept up with rising rents, causing misery for tenants as they cope with inevitable financial pressures. Furthermore, the rising number of 'no fault' (Section 21) evictions gives rise to insecurity as tenants on low incomes face a complete lack of options when they lose their home.

The full report 'Poverty, evictions and forced moves' can be downloaded here

Prof Michael Oxley: keynote speaker at the 2017 Social Impact Festival

last modified Jul 19, 2017 12:51 PM
Mike Oxley delivered a lecture today on The Case for Social Housing at UWA's Social Impact Festival.

Introduced by Graham Searle, the Director General of the Department of Communities, Western Australia, Mike's lecture was an engaging advocation of socially allocated housing.

With a comprehensive explanation of the arguments in favour of social housing, the lecture set these in a context of subsidies and also outlined the case against social housing. Research carried out by CCHPR was used to back up Mike's assertion that appropriate, well managed social housing can bring net social benefits to communities.

The lecture was followed by a Q & A session - thank you to everyone who attended.

To download the lecture notes, please click here.


The growing trend towards multigenerational living

last modified Jul 12, 2017 02:37 PM
The NHBC Foundation have released their report 'Multigenerational living - an opportunity for house builders?'

Research carried out by CCHPR for the NHBC Foundation showed that more than 1.8 million households in Britain contain two or more adult generations, yet most homes continue to be built to a traditional family home layout without consideration for the shift towards multigenerational living. The report looks at the factors behind the trend, as well as at multigenerational living in other countries, and it  identifies a range of opportunities to house builders as they strive to deliver a modern and relevant house building programme within the UK.

For more information and to download the NHBC publication, please visit the NHBC Foundation website.

To view the source report, please click here.

What's driving the private rented sector and the buy to let market?

last modified Jul 12, 2017 10:01 AM

The challenges faced by aspects of the UK housing market are a growing cause for concern, not least the impact of the expansion of the buy to let market on first time buyers.

One Savings Bank (OSB), a specialist lender, have commissioned research from CCHPR into the private rented sector and buy to let mortgage market, with a view to informing their strategic understanding of the sector and the medium term drivers of this fast growing market.


Professor Michael Oxley: keynote speaker at the 2017 Social Impact Festival

last modified Sep 19, 2017 03:32 PM
Mike Oxley will be a keynote speaker at the Social Impact Festival's Impact School: Home on Wednesday 19 July at the UWA Business School

The 2017 Social Impact Festival in Perth, Western Australia, runs for 10 days from 18 July.  It will be an exciting platform for cutting edge knowledge and ideas, and a place to unlock the potential for social change. The Home Impact School will be a place to hear from leading academics and industry experts from around the world, and will be followed by an Impact Lab, a participative event addressing some of housing challenges faced by Western Australia.

Mike's presentation, 'The Case for Social Housing', will be part of the Home Impact School at the UWA Business School.

If you'd like to attend this or any other part of the festival, register online.



Time Credits: CCHPR's final report is published

last modified Sep 19, 2017 03:32 PM
The final report from the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits Scheme is now available.

CCHPR's evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits Scheme focused on the town of Wisbech in the north of the county. The mixed methods research used a number of different tools to identify the key positive outcomes for volunteers, in the context of community engagement. These included direct and indirect health benefits for individuals, as well as the development of skills and learning to improve employability.

The final report is available to download.

Have you seen our latest films?

last modified Sep 19, 2017 03:33 PM
The latest outputs from our research into the Public Health Outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits Scheme are now available.

CCHPR have released three short films giving a vivid insight into the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits Scheme. With an overview of the reseach by Dr Gemma Burgess, an engaging insight into a case study and an animated film charting the journey of a typical volunteer, these films are a great way of getting to grips with the evaluation. They are an invaluable resource for anyone looking to engage with Time Credits as means of sustainable community engagement. Why not take a look?

CCHPR publish their latest Annual Report

last modified May 22, 2017 02:22 PM
CCHPR has just published its 2017 Directors Report. The report gives a flavour of the research that CCHPR has been involved in during the year to March 2017.

Michael Oxley, Director of CCHPR, commented that 'The report illustrates the wide breath of CCHPR's policy relevant research. We will continue to pursue opportunities to engage in work that has significant impacts on housing and planning policies'.

The report can be downloaded here.

CCHPR begin work on an evaluation of the New Horizons Project

last modified Jun 12, 2017 03:28 PM
The New Horizons Project works with people in Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk to help them move closer to the job market. They do this in a number of different ways: by helping people feel more confident and in control of their money, by helping them get online and by giving them the tools to be able to look for work.

To find out more about CCHPR's evaluation of the project, click here.

Getting involved in the community is good for your health!

last modified May 02, 2017 03:05 PM
On Thursday 18 May at 12.30pm, at the University Centre in Granta Place, there will be an opportunity to find out more about the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech.

Come along to the Time Credits launch event and find out more about recent research on the public health outcomes of volunteering with Time Credits

One increasingly important approach to reducing health inequalities is through improving social capital and reducing isolation. Time Credits are a way of recognising and celebrating the time people spend volunteering with a local organisation, community group, volunteer group or a statutory sector service provider.

In exchange for their contribution, the volunteers ‘earn’ a Time Credit note, one for every hour they give. These can be ‘spent’ on a range of leisure and other opportunities, typically donated by organisations, local businesses and corporations to allow the community members to take advantage of their spare capacity. They can also be spent on activities run by other community members, on activities at the organisation they were earned with, and to trade time and skills with other individuals.

The aim of the research was to evaluate the outcomes of the Time Credit project in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, with a focus on health outcomes. In particular, to determine the initiative’s potential to tackle social exclusion and loneliness and to assess the extent to which it can improve wellbeing and increase community cohesion and social capital.

The research shows that earning Time Credits can have both direct and indirect health benefits for individuals. People gained a sense of purpose and felt that they were making a positive contribution which increased their life satisfaction and improved their mental health. They became more physically active and more socially connected. There is also evidence of increased confidence and development of skills and work experience to support moving into paid employment.

The event is an opportunity to learn more about the research findings and to discuss how community engagement can be developed as a strategy for health improvement.

Event starts at 12.30 and will include lunch

Free event but please sign up on Eventbrite

Ask the Expert: Professor Michael Oxley speaks at the Social Market Foundation

last modified Apr 25, 2017 01:33 PM
Mike Oxley, Director of CCHPR, delivered a lunchtime seminar at the Social Market Foundation in March 2017. Professor Oxley discussed the changing role of the private rented housing sector in the UK and the corresponding implications for policy.

As well as reviewing the current state of the private rented housing sector in the UK, the seminar drew on examples of the private rented sector in the USA as well as in several European countries.

SMF's introduction and the full presentation are available here.

To watch a recording of the event and the Q and A session which followed, click here.