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CCHPR Launch Affordable Housing film

last modified Nov 13, 2014 03:22 PM
CCHPR has made a short film on promoting policy change to boost the supply of affordable housing. The film sets out the problem of a low level of house building in the UK, relative to needs, and looks at the policy options to address the low level of production.

 

This includes ideas from other countries on linking affordable house building incentives to conditions that limit rents and make the housing available to households on limited incomes. The film shows that housing investment in the UK has been low by international standards for several decades and new ideas are needed if the long term problem of under investment is to be addressed.

The film is being shown at policy seminars and roundtable discussions with housing professionals and policy makers.

The production of the film was made possible by an award from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account Pilot Programme. 

To download or stream the film, please click here

Dr Alan Holmans CBE

last modified May 08, 2015 06:04 PM
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research has learnt with great sadness of the death of Alan Holmans. Alan had a long and distinguished relationship with CCHPR. He will be greatly missed. This is an appreciation of Alan by two close colleagues; Christine Whitehead and Peter Williams. It includes quotes from others who worked with Alan throughout his career and is followed by the text of the address given by CCHPR Director, Michael Oxley at Alan’s funeral on April 8th.

 

 

Alan had two careers, as a civil servant and as an academic.  Although some might see these as worlds apart for Alan there was one continuous thread that ran through his working life –a complete integrity with an unbounding commitment to true evidence and an absolute willingness to support and encourage colleagues, especially younger researchers.

Alan came to the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research (CCHPR) in 1995, a few months after his retirement from the then Department of Environment where he had been Chief Housing Economist.  In those days senior civil servants had to go on their 60thbirthday and Alan was nowhere near ready to give up work - and his wife Stephanie wanted to move back to Cambridge - so everything worked for us.

Alan brought with him encyclopaedic knowledge about housing as well as direct involvement in the development of housing policy for almost thirty years. Before that he had completed his PhD, become a lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Glasgow - with Derek Nicholls then Head of the Department of Land Economy at Cambridge - and then joined the Civil Service as an Economic Advisor in the Treasury.

Alan’s interests were very much those of an Economic Statistician - he loved sorting out the numbers and his immense understanding of how the housing system worked meant that how he used them  made policy sense.  What he enjoyed at CCHPR was having the freedom to put his own interpretation on his findings rather than being constrained by his civil service position - and, as he often said, ‘having to draft round difficult issues’.

Given the current political interest in housing, perhaps the strand of work for which Alan is best known is his regular projections of demand and need for housing especially in England (but also Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), which have formed the basis for estimates of the total new housing requirement as well as the land and finance needed to achieve these totals for over forty years. 

Alan published the first forecast in the very first issue of Social Trends in 1970 but his far more detailed analysis in the Housing Policy Review published in 1976 formed the basis for all future forecasts. These regular outputs - whenever new household projections were published - together with a great deal of related analysis on investment requirements, suitable subsidy regimes and implications for land use planning formed a core element of his work in CCHPR.  These were sponsored  by a whole range of funders who recognised the importance of high quality consistent estimates for planners and the construction industry as well as for central government.   His last piece of work with the Centre was a projection to 2031 for Wales which he was working on only a couple of weeks ago.

Another part of Alan’s work which is if anything is growing in importance is his contribution to the history of housing through Housing Policy in Britain published in 1987, his seminal compilation Abstract of Historical Statistics of British Housing published in 2005 and, in 2012, a History of Household Projections.  These together with the Technical Volumes of the Housing Policy Review in 1976 provide an immensely rich set of source documents evidencing the way that housing and housing policy have developed.

Detailing Alan’s work in this way perhaps misses out Alan’s gentle personality; his continued support for the Centre and preparedness to work on whatever he was asked to do; his commitment to helping younger colleagues; his dry sense of humour; his interest in cricket; his love of single malts and all the other attributes which made him a joy to work with and a pleasure to have as a friend.  The quotations below reflect some of our thoughts as we remember Alan’s long and distinguished career and especially the twenty year-long second (or indeed third!) career at the Centre after his first retirement which we think and hope he enjoyed as much as we did.   We will miss him greatly but his work will stand as an everlasting memorial to him and the integrity he brought to everything throughout his life.

Richard Best: Alan was a great hero of mine: he was supported for the seminal reports on housing projections in the early and mid-90s and was a consultant for us for a decade thereafter. He has continued to be hugely important to all of us trying to make sense of the statistics and use them to really influence housing policy. 

Nick Raynsford:  He was, as you say, a giant of the housing research world. He also was a constant reminder of the skills and ethos that underpinned all that was great about our Civil Service, which has been so badly eroded in recent years. We will all miss him.

Adrian Coles: A great loss. Takes me back more than 35 years when I first met him - he seemed a giant in housing research even then.

Mark Boleat: I echo what Adrian has said, except I first met Alan over 40 years ago. He maintained an astonishingly high standard over that period and it was a pleasure to work with him.

Terry Heiser: This is sad news. Alan was a very clever man, with a good heart, and belonged to that admirable class-the English eccentric.

Bob Garland: Such an expert and a gentleman.

Andrew Wells: Both Pam and I remember him as a very influential presence in the Department of the Environment of our youth and middle years.  I recall his office absolutely stuffed with papers on every available surface, including the floor.  His desk had a small area for work surrounded by towering piles of papers and reports.  But he was always able to find the crucial research report which illuminated the issue you asked him about (even if obliquely). 

Andrew Parfitt: That is sad news - I had imagined Alan as immortal- which in the field of housing analysis he shall be. My thoughts are with his family and all his colleagues. I remember Alan as unfailingly helpful and courteous, we had delightful conversations over the years and he was always interested to hear what was going on in the world of Whitehall. It was a great privilege to attend the seminar which the CCHPR arranged in his honour in August 2009.

Christopher Foster:  A truly remarkable person. All of us who worked with him will not forget him.

Peter Owen:  Very sad to hear. I am one of many who built their careers on Alan's outstanding talents.

John Perry:  Sad indeed - he was a real character and very committed. And we've all written words along the lines of 'as assessed by Alan Holmans' as a signal of authenticity.

Hal Pawson: His contribution to our field was not only eminent but also unique. And as a role model for a ‘productive retirement’ he has also been unsurpassable.

Mike Berry: Yes, a very sad loss to the housing research community.  Alan was a gentleman-scholar of the type that Britain used to have a comparative advantage in producing.  The times I met with Alan were few but worthwhile, for me at least.

Bill Randolph:  A lifetime dedicated to housing analysis and policy.  One wonders whether governments will ever again have people of Alan's calibre and expertise available within the civil service to advise on housing matters at the highest level. 

Judy Yates: I was saddened to hear of Alan's death - what a wonderful role model he was to us all to have remained so engaged in his work right up to the end. 

Glen Bramley: Alan made a remarkable contribution to British housing policy, the evidence base, the historical record, and thinking about the relationships between housing and demography. He was a true British empiricist and a (perhaps justified) sceptic about fashionable theories and fancy models, and he continued to make a contribution despite infirmities right to the end. He was also a delightfully courteous and thoughtful colleague, a true gentleman.

Kate Henderson: I am very sorry to hear this news. Alan was a huge supporter of the TCPA and will be missed by us all. 

Beverley Searle: Alan made an invaluable contribution to housing research and the Housing Studies Association. I feel honoured to be one of the treasurers who have followed in his footsteps. As others have said Alan was truly a gentleman, and one of the most charming academics I have met. The housing community will greatly miss him.

Geoffrey Meen: I'm currently writing a book on historical housing economics and only a couple of weeks ago I wrote the below for the introductory chapter:

Historical analyses by economists of housing systems remain scarce. The work of Alan Holmans provides an invaluable exception for the UK and we fully acknowledge our debt to his path-breaking work.

Jens Lunde: I am sad to hear about Alan Holman's death, as I know he has been important for the housing economic and research community. 


Christine Whitehead and Peter Williams April 2nd 2015

 

Alan Holmans - Address by Michael Oxley

Alan Holmans was a gentleman and a scholar.

I know him first as a scholar.

Like anyone seriously interested in British housing policy, I read and quoted from Alan’s work on housing need over many years. Alan was the source of information on scholarly analysis of housing need and demand and the authority on how many new dwellings were required. No work in this area was complete without reference to Alan’s work. It was not of course primarily academic work for consumption by other academics. It was practical work with real implications for how many houses should be built. It was work for politicians, for planners, for house builders and ultimately for all of us as consumers of housing.

Alan brought his considerable talents to the Centre for Housing and Planning Research at the University of Cambridge in 1995.

By the time I became Director last year he had long retired. But had he? No, not really. He continued to have an active association with the Centre contributing to its research and publications when opportunities arose.

It was in this later period that I became truly aware of Alan as a gentleman: A gentleman of integrity and distinction. These qualities were matched by an enthusiasm for involvement in research which can ebb from others of far fewer years.

As he worked with us on projections of housing needs in he would write out the most careful and precise drafts by hand and our secretary Pam Johnson would type these and return them to him for checking. He would never let me send copies on for external consumption until he was 100% satisfied that the content was correct and clear. When others wished to rearrange his paragraphs he would reject anything he disagreed with in the most polite tones imaginable.

A few weeks ago the Welsh government asked the Cambridge Centre for some new revisions of Alan’s estimates of housing needs and demand. By now Alan was in hospital and some might have thought he would have neither the inclination nor the energy to get involved in this fresh work. But, not a bit of it.

Sarah Monk, our recently retired Deputy Director, came out of retirement temporarily to help with the work and she visited Alan in hospital. Whilst waiting for an operation, he said he would have plenty of time to sort out the housing needs of Wales. He readily cast the Times and the Financial Times to one side and delved into the detail of the estimates. Sarah reported as late as 3rd March that, faced with a request from Wales for more local projections, Alan asked for sight of the latest household projections and a pocket calculator.  Then, not content with an outstanding gap he wanted more data on the Right to Buy. With this provided, he duly finished the job.

Right to the end he was concerned to get it right.

The University of Cambridge and the housing world has lost a hero.

A gentleman, a scholar and a man of great enthusiasm and integrity is with us no more. But the light he shone on understanding housing numbers, on households, the need for more housing, and the need to get it right will shine on for a very long time.

 

Michael Oxley

April 8th 2015

Analysis of the private rented sector in Richmond upon Thames and surrounding areas

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:58 PM
Richmond Council, together with Richmond Housing Partnership, commissioned a short piece of work to help form the evidence base of their tenancy strategy.

 

This research examined the operation of the private rented sector in Richmond and nearby with a particular focus on the availability of housing for low income groups. 

Click here for more details and to download the report

Areas of Britain most affected by ‘bedroom tax’ are hardest to downsize in, research finds

last modified Dec 18, 2015 03:15 PM
Research commissioned by government following housing benefit reforms finds increase in tenants self-selecting to downsize, but the areas hardest hit by reform are those least equipped with appropriate housing stock. Researchers found households increasingly cutting back on essentials such as food and heating to make up benefits shortfall.

Research commissioned by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) on the implementation and effects of housing benefit cuts for those working-age tenants judged to have ‘spare’ bedrooms in social housing has been released today.

Part of the Welfare Reform Act of 2012, the cuts in housing benefit – termed the Removal of Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) by the DWP, and dubbed by some as the ‘Bedroom Tax’ – has proved divisive, leading to public protests throughout the country. The policy impacts on around half a million households in the UK.

The latest report is the second and final piece of research into the impact of the RSRS by Cambridge University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research, in association with Ipsos Mori. Commissioning the research was a condition imposed by the House of Lords for passing the Welfare Reform bill. An interim report of Cambridge research was published by the DWP in July 2014.

The new report, which brings the analyses up to November 2014 to cover the first twenty months of RSRS implementation, shows a drop in affected households of 14.2% during that time – from 547,000 to 465,000 – with the greatest reduction in London.

Landlord surveys suggest that between policy enactment in April 2013 and autumn last year up to 45,000 had downsized within the social sector – no more than 8% of those affected by RSRS. A further 87,000 affected claimants were still seeking to downsize in November 2014.

‘High pressure’ areas such as London and the South East, where overcrowding is a major issue and space is a premium, have the lowest number of tenants affected by the RSRS and the highest rates of successful downsized rehousing.

Researchers say this is mainly down to the types of housing stock prevalent in these areas: more one-bed properties within local authorities, and more tenants available to swap with overcrowded families, which may ultimately have a ‘positive knock-on effect’ in such areas.

However, in much of the rest of the UK, particularly areas such as Wales and the North East of England where overcrowding is not such a problem, there is a gulf between the size of households and that of available social housing stock: a dearth of much needed one-bed properties and a surplus of three-bed properties, the hardest to let under the RSRS.

“While research found similar rates of registration for downsizing, it’s much harder for some tenants to downsize than for others,” said Anna Clarke, co-author of the report from Cambridge’s Department of Land Economy.

Under the RSRS, children under the age of ten are expected to share a room. Those of the same gender under 16 are also expected to share. Pensioners, however, the group most likely to ‘under-occupy’ according to research, are exempt from the cuts.

Clarke points out that to be correctly occupying a three-bed property, for example, a family would need three children or two different gendered children over ten.

“Rehousing would normally be within a local authority, so the problem is compounded in areas with limited types of property. Some areas have stock consisting largely of suburban council estates full of three-bed houses. Yet most people at the point of applying for housing are single, or young families with one or two small children, and so would be considered to be under-occupying  a property that size,” Clarke said.

Many local authorities told researchers there are not enough one-bed properties for single people and childless couples who need a home, particularly now they are competing with downsizers since the RSRS. The research found that social landlords are often reluctant to put people into shared housing, seeing it as a retrograde step.

“There is not much hope of finding a smaller property,” one local advice agency told researchers. “This week there is one one-bedroom flat available on the CBL system, and there are 120 bids on it.”

Young people – particularly single young people – will struggle the most to access social housing as a result, says Clarke. She recently completed research for the charity Centrepoint showing that a quarter of 16-24 year olds in the UK have experienced ‘unsafe homelessness’, sleeping in cars and sofa-surfing as a result of having nowhere to go.

“Access to homes for young people is getting harder in every direction: the cost of owning, demands on private renting. The RSRS restrictions are another barrier,” said Clarke.   

While the majority of households prioritise their rent and have budgeted for the RSRS, and the report suggests landlords have been largely successful in transitioning tenants, the evidence shows that many of those affected are struggling.

The research found that 76% of those still affected by the RSRS in 2014 reported cutting back on food, and 46% cutting back on energy use, in order to pay the shortfall. “That £60 a month I have to pay (RSRS) would cover food for two weeks or it would mean I could keep the house warm. It just feels like I’ve had two weeks of money taken off of me,” one affected tenant told researchers.

A quarter said they had to borrow money, mostly from friends and family, but at least 7% cited lenders such as payday loans. Around 40% of claimants reported currently being in arrears on their rent.

Some parents were forced to cut back on activities with their children, which they found upsetting. “I panic about struggling to pay for things… We don’t spend any money at Christmas,” said an affected claimant.  

“The RSRS affects a third of working-age tenants on housing benefit – a tenth of the whole social sector. This is a huge amount of people affected compared to other welfare reforms such as the benefit cap, which – thus far – has been tiny in comparison,” said Clarke.

Local authorities have a resource to help those most in need, often in the form of one-off payments known as Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP). The Government made substantial increases to funding allocation to local authorities for DHP, and the researchers found that this mitigated some of the initial hardship during implementation of the RSRS, with 23% of those still affected in 2014 having received some form of DHP.     

However, the future allocation of DHP beyond April 2016 is uncertain as yet, and many local authorities were concerned that, with pressure on finances, it would be reduced.

In Scotland, it’s a very different picture. The Scottish Parliament is strongly opposed to the RSRS, but currently lacks the power to opt out, so has topped up DHP funding to completely ameliorate the effects of the policy – indicating clearly to landlords that all tenant shortfalls are to be subsidised using DHPs.      

Consequently, to all intents and purposes, the RSRS is not practically in effect in Scotland, says Clarke, although Scottish landlords still have to ensure that all tenants have the correct DHP paperwork.

One of the Government aims was to incentivise people to work through the RSRS, but researchers found no evidence of this. While a tiny percent – three percent overall – had found work, an almost equal amount had lost it. “Many said they were actively seeking work in response to the RSRS, but they don’t seem to be finding it,” said Clarke. 

The researchers didn’t find much evidence of empty housing stock, as some had feared. While 42% of landlords reported difficulties in letting some properties because of the RSRS, Clarke says this would appear to translate to landlords looking harder for tenants – allocating larger properties to those in less urgent need of housing, or through websites and letting agents – as the overall proportion of vacant properties appears to have changed little.

Overall the research concludes that landlords have also been largely successful in transitioning people to the RSRS, the impact has been manageable and people prioritise their rent, says Clarke. But this comes at a cost to tenants.

“Landlords aren’t going bust. There aren’t great swathes of empty houses across England, or enormous rent arrears causing mass evictions. But that’s not the same as saying the impact for individual tenants is manageable, and the evidence is that many people are really struggling as a result of this policy,” said Clarke. 

“Most people can’t downsize, or move away from families and schools, or suddenly find work after years of looking. So they just have to keep cutting back their spending. And people on benefits don’t have a lot of spare cash beyond paying for the essentials in life.”

Read the full report on the CCHPR website here

A book co-authored by Michael Oxley has just been published in Russian

last modified Jul 21, 2015 01:31 PM
Bridging the gap between social and market rented housing in six European countries” by Marietta Haffner Joris Hoekstra, Michael Oxley and Harry van der Heijden was originally published by IOS Press in the Netherlands

Book review by Dr Gemma Burgess published in Journal of Social Policy

last modified Mar 04, 2014 12:03 PM
Book review published in Journal of Social Policy. Dr Gemma Burgess reviews Patricia Kennett and Chan KamWah (eds.) (2011), Women and Housing: An International Analysis. Abingdon: Routledge. £34.99, pp. 247, pbk. doi:10.1017/S0047279411000882

 

This book is about how housing is often considered to be gender neutral but is actually gendered in multiple and complex ways. It comprises a series of case studies drawing on a wide range of empirical evidence from different countries worldwide. 

Journal of Social Policy / FirstView Articles : pp 6-7 Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011 Published online: 21 December 2011 DOI:10.1017/S0047279411000882

Building social capital through community timebanking: an evaluation of the Cambridgeshire timebanking project

last modified Sep 02, 2014 08:15 PM
This research evaluated the development of a timebanking project in Cambridgeshire for Cambridgeshire County Council and the CHS Group. Timebanking is a community scheme which enables local people to exchange skills and support in a structured way around the swapping of units of their time. It can help to build social capital in local communities, but may also have the potential to generate cost savings.

 

The research suggests that the timebanks are developing successfully, with increasing numbers of members and exchanges. There is evidence of a range of benefits to the members who are involved and evidence of positive outcomes, including reduced social isolation.

Please click here to download the final report

Building social capital through community timebanking

last modified Sep 02, 2014 08:20 PM
This research evaluated the development of a timebanking project in Cambridgeshire for Cambridgeshire County Council and the CHS Group. Timebanking is a community scheme which enables local people to exchange skills and support in a structured way around the swapping of units of their time. It can help to build social capital in local communities, but may also have the potential to generate cost savings.


The research suggests that the timebanks are developing successfully, with increasing numbers of members and exchanges. There is evidence of a range of benefits to the members who are involved and evidence of positive outcomes, including reduced social isolation. 

Click here to download the report

CCHPR Annual Report 2014 now available

last modified May 13, 2015 11:05 AM
From 2014 onwards, CCHPR is changing the format of its Annual Reports. Unlike previous reports in PDF format, the 2014 Annual Report comprises of an online commentary from Michael Oxley with links to relevant content from the CCHPR website - including 2014 projects, presentations etc.

 The online 2014 Annual Report is available here:

http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/About/Annual-Reports/Annual-Report-2014

For Annual Reports back to 2003, please see the following web page:

http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/About/Annual-Reports

CCHPR Annual Report 2013

last modified Apr 28, 2014 11:01 AM
CCHPR are pleased to publish their Annual Report for 2013. It includes a farewell from Peter Williams who retired as Director at the end of the year and a welcome to Professor Michael Oxley who took over in January 2014.

 

The Annual Report lists all the research we have been doing during the year, and all our new publications. It also gives details of the current research team, our Advisory Board, and associates and others we collaborated with in 2013.

The current and previous Annual Reports can be downloaded here

New Appointments at CCHPR

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:01 PM
CCHPR is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Michael Oxley as successor to Peter Williams as Director (from 1 January 2014) and Sam Morris as an early career researcher (as of September 2013).


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 the private rented sector.

CCHPR Presentations at Housing Studies Association Conference 2012

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:57 PM
Four members of CCHPR gave presentations at the Housing Studies Association Conference 2012 at the University of York.

 

Professor Christine Whitehead was the keynote speaker, her presentation focused on 'The UK Housing Market: will it ever be the same again?'

Anna Clarke's 'Social housing and worklessness' was based on her evaluation of Enhanced Housing Options Trailblazers and examined different models of linking up work and housing. 

Dr Gemma Burgess' 'Housing an ageing population: housing options and the value of information and advice to older people' examined the issues older people faced when they wanted to stay in their current homes. 

Dr Connie Tang presented her findings in 'The changing household structure of tenants in new affordable housing in the English housing association sector, 1990–2011', looking at why particular household types moved into new built houses provided by housing associations.

CCHPR Releases Affinity Sutton Affordability Research

last modified Jun 25, 2014 12:02 AM
CCHPR have published a research paper into the methodology for understanding local affordability and rents among social tenants. The research, which was commissioned by Affinity Sutton, is being published to contribute to the affordability debate across the sector. One key finding from the research is that while in the past many rent policies have held down rents on larger properties to assist families, those actually most likely to be helped off benefits through lower rents are smaller households without children.


Earlier research commissioned from CCHPR by Affinity Sutton and carried out in 2011, Market-pegged rents and the social sector, examined the demand for an intermediate rent product and how many households unable to afford market rents would be able to afford 80% of market rents. This latest research however shifts its focus to those actually being housed in ‘Affordable Rent’ and social rent properties and looks at the relationship between local household incomes and local rents. The paper highlights the significant complexity in defining affordability as well as where local incomes fail to reflect local rents.

Christine Whitehead, the lead researcher, noted: “traditionally housing associations have tried to help families, who are expected to have the highest outgoings, by keeping rents down to give them more income to spend on other essentials. But under the current income support system those in receipt of housing benefit cannot be helped in this way.”

Neil McCall, Group Operations Director at Affinity Sutton, said: “We know that affordability has worsened since we last looked at it in 2011 and we are under no illusion that it is a complex issue. Benefits complicate the story on affordability because once a household is in receipt of housing benefit any increase in rent has no impact on them until the threshold of Local Housing Allowance or the benefit cap is reached. Likewise, any reduction in rent has no impact unless it can be reduced far enough so that the household no longer qualifies for benefits.

We will be using this methods paper to inform our future rent policy. The lessons and the principles of rent setting will be relevant to all providers of affordable housing and for this reason we believe it is essential that we share these findings now.”

It is important to note that this research is based on what can be done within the existing environment of reduced grant and does not displace our firm belief that an increase in capital grants and lower social rents would be the best solution for residents, taxpayers and housing providers.”

Please click here to download the report

 

CCHPR Research Support for Lloyds Banking Group Commission on Housing

last modified Feb 17, 2015 05:12 PM
CCHPR provided the research support for the Lloyds Banking Group Commission on housing. The Commission’s Report was published on January 28th 2015. This was marked by an event at the House of Commons with speeches by CCHPR Director Michael Oxley, Stephen Noakes, Managing Director, Retail Customer Products, Lloyds Banking Group, Shadow Housing Minister Emma Reynolds and the Co-chairs of the Commission Mark Prisk MP and Nick Raynsford MP, two former Housing Ministers from different political backgrounds. The Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis also welcomed the report.

 

The Report calls for a progressively rising target for national house-building which will deliver 2 million to 2.5 million homes by 2025 and argues for cross party support for a long-term approach, together with consistency in policy, and a commitment to both quality and quantity. The report sets out a roadmap towards the sustained supply of good quality new homes.

There is more information in the LBG press release and in the full report:

http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/Media/Press-Releases/2015/lloyds-banking-group/lloyds-banking-group-commission-on-housing-outlines-programme-to-tackle-new-homes-shortage

http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/globalassets/documents/media/press-releases/lloyds-banking-group/2015/150128-housing_commission_report.pdf

 

CCHPR presentation at the Housing Statistics Network Social Housing Statistics Seminar

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:38 PM
In the first part of their HSN Social Housing Statistics Seminar presentation, Connie gave a brief overview of the recent policy changes in social housing and the collection of housing statistics, and described some CCHPR projects on how these changes affected the social housing sector. Christine then outlined the future policy analyses on impact of localism on social housing and the data requirements to support the new agenda.

 

Dr Connie Tang and Professor Christine Whitehead were invited to give a presentation at the HSN Social Housing Statistics Seminar. In the first part of the presentation, Connie gave a brief overview of the recent policy changes in social housing and the collection of housing statistics, and described some CCHPR projects on how these changes affected the social housing sector. Christine then outlined the future policy analyses on impact of localism on social housing and the data requirements to support the new agenda. 

Please click here for the presentation slides 

In the same seminar, Charles Jarvis from the Homes and Communities Agency and Bob Garland form the Department for Communities and Local Government also gave presentations on changes in social housing statistics. Their presentations can be assessed via http://housingstatisticsnetwork.org/node/178.

CCHPR report published on how to encourage data sharing between regulatory agencies

last modified Mar 27, 2015 03:05 PM
Researchers from the CCHPR were commissioned by the UK Government’s Better Regulation Delivery Office to carry out a project examining attitudes to data sharing amongst regulators. The final report, now published, contains a number of organisational, legal and technical recommendations.

 

A team of researchers led by Dr Paul Sanderson from the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research and the Centre for Business Research recently carried out a project for the UK Government’s Better Regulation Delivery Office examining data sharing between regulatory agencies. The project explored attitudes towards data sharing of 63 regulators in 30 organisations. The findings indicate the extent to which regulators share data is influenced by several complex factors including the difficulty of balancing privacy with freedom of information. The final report contains a number of organisational, legal and technical recommendations currently being considered by the government. 

Please click here for more information and to download the report

Capturing Planning Gain – The Transition from Section 106 to the Community Infrastructure Levy

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:16 PM
The Community Infrastructure Levy came into force in April 2010 (DCLG, 2011a). It allows local authorities in England and Wales to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area and the money can be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure that is needed as a result of development. This research for the RICS explores the issues arising in the transition to the new system.

Intended and unintended consequences? A case study survey of housing associations and welfare reform

last modified Dec 19, 2013 03:37 PM
With the Welfare Reform Act 2012 heralding the introduction of some of the most significant changes to the administration and distribution of benefits in recent times, the National Housing Federation has commissioned Ipsos MORI and Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research to assess how these changes impact across the housing association sector in England.

 

The baseline report was published in late 2012 and this case report builds on that with the results of 15 in depth case study housing associations. 

Click here for more details and downloads

Challenging Times, Changing Lives

last modified Dec 20, 2013 04:13 PM
Riverside Housing Group have published the first output from a three year longitudinal study tracking the lives of 20 tenants and exploring how they respond to financial changes and welfare reform.

 

Anna Clarke, from CCHPR, has been supporting the project in an advisory capacity. 

Please click here for more details and to download the report

Changing the profile of social housing

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:39 PM
New analysis by CCHPR models the likely impact of allocating a larger proportion of social housing to working households.


The analysis draws on CORE data to look at the implications for different groups of housing applicants. It concludes that giving greater priority to people in work is likely to be at odds with allocating to those in greatest need. 

Please click here to download this working note

Did clients benefit long term from the housing options support they received?

last modified Dec 19, 2013 03:09 PM
This research analyses the long term impact of receiving housing options support on older people.

Drawing on in depth interviews with people who had been assisted through a FirstStop local partner housing options service, it explores the impact on health, wellbeing, finances and the ability to live independently. 

Please click here for more information and downloads

Co-production in research and public services – working papers published

last modified Mar 09, 2016 10:45 AM
Two papers from the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech have just been published. They provide an overview of co-production. One focuses on co-production in research and the other on co-production in public services.

Part of the NIHR funded Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme (PHPES), the aim of the evaluation is to determine the project’s potential to tackle social exclusion, loneliness and deprivation and to assess the extent to which it can reduce health inequalities.

Please click here to download the two papers

Managing hearing loss in vulnerable groups of the Cambridgeshire D/deaf communities

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:08 PM
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 D/deaf 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. 

Please click here to download the final report

Measuring the affordability of housing association rents in England: a dual approach

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:11 PM
Dr. Connie Tang's article "Measuring the affordability of housing association rents in England: a dual approach" published in the International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, has been chosen as a *Highly Commended Award Winner* at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013.


The awarded article is available online on a free access until 13th July 2013. The link to this article can be found at www.emeraldinsight.com

ESRC Funds Ground Breaking Research on What Works in Tackling Poverty from CCHPR

last modified Dec 04, 2014 01:24 PM
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research is delighted to announce that we have been selected by the ESRC to undertake one of four major new research projects that will advance understanding of effective strategies for tackling poverty. This important new research is part of the What Works in Tackling Poverty programme which is being led by the Public Policy Institute for Wales.

 

The ESRC has awarded more than half a million pounds to research teams based at Cambridge, Warwick and Aberystwyth Universities and the Young Foundation. 

The project at CCHPR will be led by Professor Michael Oxley, and will focus on the role of housing and housing providers in tackling poverty experienced by young people in the UK.

The projects will work closely with 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. 

ESRC Chief Executive Professor Jane Elliott said: “ESRC is very pleased to be funding high quality, independent, research which aims to identify the best mechanisms for tackling poverty and deprivation.  This initiative will make research evidence more accessible to policy makers and practitioners across all levels of government.”

Professor Steve Martin, Director of the Public Policy Institute for Wales, commented: “We are committed to ensuring that policy makers have access to authoritative independent analysis that helps them to improve decision making and delivery.  We look forward to working with the research teams to ensure that their findings make a real difference for individuals, households and communities experiencing poverty – in Wales and across the UK.”

Welsh Government Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, Lesley Griffiths, said: “We are working hard to tackle poverty in communities across Wales, mitigating the impact of the UK Government’s welfare reform and narrowing the economic, education and health gaps between our most deprived and more affluent areas.

“These projects can provide a valuable contribution to the tackling poverty agenda. We are working closely with the Public Policy Institute and the ESRC and I look forward to reading the final reports.”

The projects will run from October 2014 for two years.  Their findings will be important to decision makers and practitioners from a wide range of organisations including central government, local authorities and the voluntary sector.


Please click below to access the project page on the CCHPR website:

The role of housing and housing providers in tackling poverty experienced by young people in the UK

Economic analysis of the Wisbech travel to work area

last modified May 01, 2014 02:22 PM
The University of Cambridge was commissioned to undertake an economic analysis of the Wisbech travel to work area in order to help address the current and future challenges facing Wisbech and to maximise the opportunities available to the town and its surrounding area as set out in the Wisbech 2020 Vision.

 

The aims of the research were to:

  • Analyse the current economic profile of Wisbech travel to work area (TTWA);
  • Analyse the sectors of the local economy most likely to have potential for future employment growth and higher productivity levels under different macro-economic scenarios; and to
  • Make recommendations on ways to support a high value-added growth strategy.

To download the report please click here

Equity Release amongst older home owners

last modified Dec 20, 2013 04:09 PM
There is increasing interest in the role the use of equity release products can play in coping with some of the pressures of an ageing population. This study analyses what we already know about the use of equity release products by older homeowners to identify what might it be valuable to research further.

 

The scoping study reviews our understanding and knowledge from research on the use (or not, in most cases) of equity release products by older homeowners. It pulls together findings from the existing literature, reviews different data sets and draws on stakeholder discussions to identify what is already known about equity release in later life, what is missing from the current evidence base and the key research questions that need tackling in relation to likely future policy directions. 

For more details and downloads please click here

Equity release round table discussion event November 7th Nuffield Foundation

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:42 PM
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research at the University of Cambridge has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation to explore the key current issues shaping equity release by older home owners.

 

As part of this research a round table discussion was held on the 7th of November in London bringing together key stakeholders from different sectors to discuss issues shaping the use of equity release now and looking into the future. This briefing note reflects on the discussion. 

Please click here to download the presentation and notes on discussion

Estimating the scale of youth homelessness in the UK

last modified Mar 28, 2017 05:09 PM
The lack of coherent national data on homelessness makes measuring the true scale of youth homelessness a real challenge. This in turn presents a challenge for those trying to end homelessness and for government to ensure effective allocation of funding so that young people receive the support they need. Most data currently collected by governments across the UK relate to the statutory homeless; those found eligible for help under the Main Homelessness Duty. However, this provides only a limited picture of the scale of homelessness. Centrepoint commissioned us to carry out this research to produce an up-to-date estimate of the number of young people aged 16 to 24 experiencing homelessness during the course of a year.

Key findings:

  • Over 83,000 homeless young people have been accommodated by local authorities or homelessness services during 2013-14
  • Nine per cent of UK young people have slept in an ‘outside’ place in the last year, including on the street, in car parks or parks, because they had nowhere else to go
  • 26 per cent of UK young people have slept in an unsafe place because they had nowhere else to go. This equates to an estimated 1.3m young people aged 16 to 24
  • 35 per cent of UK young people have experience of sofa surfing which would suggest over a million 16-25 year olds having done so nationally

The summary and full report can be accessed here

An article in Social Inclusion can be found here

Centrepoint have produced this policy briefing in response to the research.

Cambridge TV ran an article on the research in a piece on Youth Homelessness.

And the lead researcher, Anna Clarke, has written a blog about undertaking the research, which you can read here.

 

Evaluating the Public Health Outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits Project – conference poster published

last modified Mar 15, 2016 12:46 PM
A poster was presented at the School for Public Health Research annual conference about the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech.

The poster summarises the aims and methodology and presents the development of a conceptual underpinning of how Time Credits can lead to positive health outcomes.

To download the poster, please click here

Evaluation of the Housing and Other Benefit Measures in the Social Rented Sector

last modified Dec 20, 2013 04:16 PM
The DWP announced this week that CCHPR, together with Ipsos MORI, has been commissioned by the DWP to evaluate housing benefit changes in the social rented sector.

 

Social tenants of working age who under-occupy will lose either 14% or 25% of their eligible housing benefit under the size criteria. 

The evaluation seeks to understand the impact of the reforms on claimants, landlords and other stakeholders. 

Please click here for more details

Evaluation of new lighting intervention schemes being undertaken by benevolent trusts

last modified May 28, 2015 11:51 AM
This research, funded by the Thomas Pocklington Trust evaluated the impact of lighting improvements made to the homes of people with sight loss living in London and the North West of England during 2013-15.

Evaluation of Early Support in Essex

last modified Sep 25, 2014 04:48 PM
This study was commissioned by the Thomas Pocklington Trust to evaluate the Visionary Development Fund’s project: Early Support in Essex. This project aims to improve referral to services for people with sight loss in Essex.

 

The Thomas Pocklington Trust, a charity for people with sight loss, contributed funds to the Visionary Development Fund’s project ‘Early Support in Essex' which aimed to improve referral services for people with sight loss in Essex.

The evaluation found that the schemes had been successful in increasing the number of referrals to local sight loss charities in Essex and that it's clients appreciated the services and support offered.

Please click here to download the report

Evaluation of Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy: Interim Report

last modified Jul 15, 2014 12:17 PM
The Interim Report from the Evaluation of the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (often referred to as the 'bedroom tax'), carried out jointly by CCHPR and Ipsos Mori, has been published. The report explores the effects of the cuts to Housing Benefit for working age social housing tenants who are deemd to be under-occupying their home.

 

The Interim Report from the Evaluation of the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy, carried out jointly by CCHPR and Ipsos Mori, has been published. The report explores the effects of the cuts to Housing Benefit for working age social housing tenants who are deemd to be under-occupying their home.

Please click here for more details

Evaluation of the FirstStop initiative - new report shows continued success of the service

last modified Feb 28, 2014 05:01 PM
A summary of the evaluation so far of the FirstStop initiative has just been published. It was included as an insert in the 26th April issue of The House parliamentary magazine magazine which is sent to all MP's and Peers.

Evaluation of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme

last modified Feb 23, 2016 02:16 PM
This evaluation of the Help to Buy equity loan scheme in England was published on 15th February. Peter Williams and Christine Whitehead were part of the IPSOS MORI led research team.

In April 2013, Help to Buy Equity Loan was introduced with the intention of providing a stimulus to the housebuilding market by increasing the supply of housing through the building of more new homes. This report presents the findings from a programme of research to consider two key objectives (a) make a robust assessment of the ‘additionality’ of the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme, through a greater number of new homes built or through a production of bigger homes as a result of the policy, over and above what would have been produced in its absence; and (b) to provide evidence of the experiences and implementation of the scheme from the perspective of both providers and consumers.

As will be evident there are real challenges in making an assessment of additionality, the introduction of the policy in April 2013 means it is not possible to establish any meaningful counterfactual and disentangling the effects of the policy from other related policy initiatives add further complication. Furthermore, the assessment of additionality has to be considered in the context of the overall cycle of the scheme as well as changes in the wider economy and housing market. 

Using primary and secondary data the research derived a central estimate that investment in Help to Buy Equity Loan up to January 2015, generated 43% additional new homes built as a result of the Help to Buy Equity Loan policy, over and above what would have been built in the absence of the policy. This estimate of additionality suggests that for every 100 households that purchased with Help to Buy Equity Loan assistance, 43 led to new dwellings being built that would not otherwise have been built. This is equivalent to contributing 14% to total new build output since the introduction of the policy to June 2015.

The analysis has provided a clear indication of the additionality triggered by the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme. The scheme has made consumer demand more effective which in turn has fed through into an increase in housing supply backed by an expanded and more supportive mortgage market. On this definition, 43% of Help to Buy Equity Loan sales are estimated to be additional, equivalent to contributing to 14% of total new build output up to June 2015. Allowing for wider market additionality effects, including market confidence, as well as cash flow and capacity, suggests that the policy could have contributed as much as 45% to total new build output initially (2013/14). This partly reflects the fact that developers thought that sales would have declined in 2013 in the absence of this support. Thereafter, the impacts of these wider market additionality effects are expected to be lower - suggesting the proportion of total new build output could fall back to a maximum of 25% from 2015.

This broader total could potentially increase as lender confidence is maintained, mortgage availability for new build sales grows and cash flow and other financial constraints are reduced. However the scale of the impact on output decisions into the future depends on many other factors around the economy and financial markets as well as the continuation of the scheme.

Please click here for more details from GOV.UK 

Exclusive communities and anti-social housing: the failures of mixed community development: Fifth seminar in the ESRC Seminar Series on Marketplace Exclusion: Representations, Resistances and Responses

last modified Apr 21, 2015 11:23 AM
This seminar looked at the ways in which exclusion from the housing market is tackled in England and how successful the mixed communities policy has been. It reflected on the experiences of those excluded from the housing market, both in the UK and internationally.

This seminar looked at the ways in which exclusion from the housing market is tackled in England and how successful the mixed communities policy has been. It reflected on the experiences of those excluded from the housing market, both in the UK and internationally.

The seminar began with a short film about increasing the supply of affordable housing:

http://www.cchpr.landecon.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Start-Year/2014/Promoting-policy-change-to-boost-the-supply-of-affordable-housing/Affordable-Housing-Film

Dr Tony Manzi, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, reflected on the trajectory of mixed communities policy in his paper:

The Myth of the Mixed Community: Theoretical Assumptions, Policy Development and the Challenges of Housing Practice

Charlie Barlow, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge and Committee on Geographical Studies at the University of Chicago, discussed his research on residential segregation, socioeconomic inequalities and citizenship entitlements within inner-city neighbourhoods in Chicago in his presentation:

'You can't barbecue here!': when community and condominiums collide.

Dr Charlotte Lemanski, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, talked about her work on spatial segregation in South Africa in her paper:

Mixed-income housing in post-apartheid Cape Town: spaces of inclusion or exclusion?

Professor Jo Richardson, Centre for Comparative Housing Research, De Montfort University, reflected on her research with marginalised groups such as gypsies and travellers in her presentation:

Negotiated Home: using co-production research to enhance inclusion of Gypsy and Traveller communities

There was also a talk by the Cambridgeshire time banks initiative given by Wendy Lansdown, Cambridgeshire County Council, and Lucy Bird, Time Bank Coordinator. As part of their Timebanking in Cambridgeshire presentation they included this film:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w04nDTvixA

For further information about the Cambridge seminar please contact Dr Gemma Burgess at glb36@cam.ac.uk

For more information about the seminar series please see http://www.liv.ac.uk/management/conferences-and-events/esrc/about/

Experimental review of the Cambridge Travel to Work Area (TTWA) as a tool for informing local housing policy - including a study of the Ely housing market in the context of the Cambridge TTWA

last modified Jun 29, 2016 09:56 AM
Travel To Work Areas are used primarily to understand local labour markets, but are also used in housing planning. However, TTWAs do not allow for overlap. Taking Cambridge as their example Chihiro Udagawa and Dr Paul Sanderson identify commuting areas for Cambridge that lie within the boundaries of other employment hubs. Their study suggests care should be taken when using TTWAs for housing planning purposes.

A Travel-to-work Area (TTWA) theoretically represents a self-contained labour market area in which all commuting occurs within the boundary of that area. It has been re-defined once a decade when analyses on commuting patterns drawn from the UK Censuses were completed. In December 2015, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) published TTWAs based on the 2011 Census results.

TTWAs are used primarily to aid understanding of labour markets across the UK. However, residential location and commuting patterns can also contribute to understanding local housing markets. The conventional assumption is that local labour markets are spatial proxies for housing markets. Indeed, housing professionals have been employing TTWAs in this way in their strategic plans.

One of the issues in using existing TTWA s in this way is that they do not allow for overlap. Consider a household with two earners, one of whom is commuting within the TTWA while the other is commuting to a business hub outside their TTWA. For example, Cambridge TTWA has now expanded as far south as Hertford and Harlow - settlements containing many London commuters.

Taking Cambridge as our example we attempt in this paper to experimentally identify commuting areas for Cambridge that lie within the boundaries of other employment hubs, such as Ely. In this way we can start to address the reality that TTWAs, certainly in terms of local housing markets, are not discrete - they overlap.

Please click here to download the report

Evaluation of the FirstStop information and advice initiative for older people: findings 2011/2012

last modified Dec 20, 2013 04:22 PM
A comprehensive information and advice service enabling older people to better plan ahead for their future housing and care needs is a key requirement if Britain is to cope successfully with its ageing society. The evaluation of FirstStop shows how it is helping older people to make difficult decisions about their housing and care.

 

The reports present the 2011/12 findings from an ongoing evaluation by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, which is analysing and informing the development of the FirstStop service. The new initiative aims to provide older people, their families and carers with a one-stop shop for advice on issues like home improvements and care. Users can call on a freephone number, or visit a website, to obtain independent, impartial information and advice on housing, care options, their rights and financial support. FirstStop also provides face to face advice and assistance locally e.g. helping older people to move to a more suitable home. 

Please click here to download the reports

FirstStop Evaluation: Report on progress of the funded local partners 2013/14

last modified Jul 15, 2014 12:39 PM
This report explores the progress of the local housing options services which are currently funded by FirstStop. The research suggests the local projects have empowered older people to make informed decisions, have given them full knowledge of all the options available and have supported them in appraising these options effectively.

 

FirstStop aims to help older people make informed decisions about their housing and support, maintain independent living in later life and avoid health problems and unplanned care home admissions.

The case work service has received positive feedback from clients and a range of positive outcomes have been achieved, including continued independent living, higher incomes, reduced isolation, access to housing equity and a better quality of life.

To download the report please click here

FirstStop local partners: costs and potential savings to public budgets of client casework 2014

last modified Nov 18, 2014 10:15 AM
The aim of this research was to report on the costs and benefits of a sample of cases dealt with by the FirstStop local partners providing housing options services to older people. It focuses on the intense level three casework data provided by the local partners.

 

The research shows that with support from caseworkers, clients had outputs that resulted in costs to the public purse e.g. local authority funded home adaptations, but that on balance these costs are lower than the potential costs to the public purse if no support had been received e.g. more care at home required or entry into residential care.

Please click here to download the report

History of Household Projections by Alan Holmans

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:14 PM
Alan Holmans has produced a new report on the Household Projections in England: Their History and Uses.

 

Household projections are an important tool for estimating future housing demand and need and the land supply required if all households are to be adequately housed. 

For more information and to download the report please click here

Housing Futures Network

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:46 PM
In 2011 and 2012 CCHPR worked with the Housing Futures Network to explore future directions for housing associations. We are now able to circulate the summary and final reports from that work.

Housing Markets and the Globalisation of Generational Inequalities - Professor Richard Ronald, University of Amsterdam

last modified Feb 03, 2015 10:29 AM
We were delighted that Professor Professor Richard Ronald, University of Amsterdam, participated in the Department of Land Economy seminar series and presented his research on Housing Markets and the Globalisation of Generational Inequalities.


Abstract

The marketisation of housing and the commodification of the home have been core features of neoliberal social and urban transformations. While the impacts have been highly uneven, in the last decade a more discernable pattern has emerged in a number of contexts that suggest a particularly significant divide is developing between older and younger adult cohorts in regard to housing careers, routes into adulthood and exposure to social and economic risk. In the UK for example, media attention has turned in recent years to the issue of 'generation rent' and the problems now faced by younger people in finding a secure home. I argue that this is a more global phenomenon, evident in societies as diverse as Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Netherlands. In each context, I examine how various historical contingencies, institutional legacies and socio-spatial relationships are shaping differentiated but clearly evident manifestations of generational divides in housing markets that have both deep and long-term socioeconomic implications. 

To download the presentation slides, please click here


Biography

Richard Ronald is a Professor at the Centre for Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam and holds a Chair in Housing and Social Change at the University of Birmingham in the UK. He is the Principal Investigator on the HOUWEL project and was awarded an Independent Researchers Grant by the European Research Council in 2011. Among other functions, Richard is the editor of the International Journal of Housing Policy, coordinator of the Home Ownership and Globalization Working Group of the European Network for Housing Research and convener of the Urban, Regional and Environmental Studies Section of the European Association for Japanese Studies. He has published widely on housing in relation to social, economic and urban transformations in Europe and Pacific Asia including a number of monographs and edited volumes. Richard has held Japan Foundation as well as Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowships at Kobe University in Japan (2002-2006), and has been a Visiting Professor at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, South Korea (2010-2012). He is originally a graduate of the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University in the UK where he received his Masters in Critical Theory and PhD in Housing and Urban Studies.

Housing finance and the housing market; lessons from the UK?

last modified Feb 28, 2014 01:18 PM
This article outlines developments in the UK housing and mortgage markets with a focus on the period since 2007 and the global crash. It picks up on the UK responses to what is now a global debate on macro-prudential policy and lines of intervention in mortgage markets.

 

It charts in broad terms the evolution of the UK’s housing and mortgage markets over the last decade, through the crash and recession and progress through the continuing recovery. Indeed the scale of the interventions in the UK housing and mortgage markets is very big and wide ranging by international standards. Despite or perhaps partly because of them the UK markets have also undergone a fundamental transformation. Home ownership has declined and private renting has increased while social housing is being reworked. 

Click here for more details and to download the full article

Housing in Transition: Understanding the dynamics of tenure change

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:19 PM
Patterns of housing tenure in England have changed dramatically over the last twenty years. Looking forward, and depending upon the nature of economic recovery, there could be even greater change. Mortgaged home ownership could fall to little more than 25% of all households from over 40% in the early 1990s, and overall homeownership dropping from a high of around 70% to perhaps 62% in 2025. Private renting could increase by nearly 40% to house over 5.5 million households. These are findings from a study by CCHPR for the Resolution Foundation and Shelter.

Housing need and effective demand in England – the ‘big picture’

last modified Apr 29, 2014 12:17 PM
The purpose of this note was to review current concepts and measures of housing need in use in England, and how they relate to effective demand. It looks at what is likely to be the new supply of housing that would be required to meet the need generated by population and household growth and change; how much of this supply could be generated by private effective demand; and how much would depend on assistance.


Alan Holmans’ new paper looks first at past changes in population and households and in housing supply, with particular reference to 2001 to 2011. It then compares estimates of future housing need post 2011 and how they compare with earlier estimates and with new housing supply in earlier years. Thirdly it asks how much of the new supply has been in response to effective demand and how much has been subsidised ‘affordable’ housing; and finally it asks how much of the supply required to meet new housing need would have to be assisted housing.


Please click here to download the report

Housing policy in a theoretical context

last modified Aug 27, 2015 02:20 PM
This academic article by Alan Murie and Peter Williams in the journal Housing Studies explores Jim Kemeny’s political tenure strategies argument via a long view of the evolution of housing policy in the UK. The paper argues for a more refined approach. It has been published on line in August 2015.

This paper titled A Presumption in Favour of Home Ownership? Reconsidering Housing Tenure Strategies by Alan Murie & Peter Williams was published online: 14 Aug 2015.

The paper discusses changes in housing finance, tenure and policy in the UK in the context of Kemeny’s important and influential discussion of political tenure strategies. The evolution of housing tenure in that country since the 1970s has not conformed to the thesis of a simple presumption in favour of home ownership and the paper argues that the framework for housing analysis must look beyond tenure categories, recognise the complex variations within tenures and consider the overriding importance of wider structural pressures related to class, income and wealth and the role of local actors and local variation.

Journal article published - Housing poverty in Ecuador: challenges to eradication

last modified Apr 08, 2016 12:00 PM
Galina Alova, former MPhil student in the Department of Land Economy, and Dr Gemma Burgess have published an article on housing poverty in Ecuador.

New estimates of housing demand and need in England, 2011-2031, by Alan Holmans

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:09 PM
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.
New estimates of housing demand and need in England, 2011-2031, by Alan Holmans

TCP Tomorrow Series Paper 16

 

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.

Please click here for the full paper

How do landlords address poverty? A poverty-focused review of the stratetgies of local authorities, landlords and letting agents in England

last modified Sep 22, 2015 10:14 AM
Rising rents, more low‑income households in private renting, reduced funding for house building and welfare reforms present major challenges for landlords and local authorities in England. This research explores how landlords are responding, what can be learnt from their written strategies and plans, and what happens in practice.

Identifying housing need in the horseracing industry – new research and industry response

last modified Mar 31, 2016 05:07 PM
The aim of this research was to establish the degree and nature of current unmet need for affordable housing amongst racing staff and to make recommendations as to how that need may best be met.

The research identified a number of housing issues, including lack of affordable housing, problems in accessing private rented housing and maintaining tenancies, a detrimental impact on staff recruitment and retention and the loss of tied housing once a staff member retires. Recommendations include training and awareness raising around housing options, development of temporary accommodation and housing for singles, and industry-wide consideration of working patterns away from the split shift format. Although employers provide different kinds of support with housing, horseracing is a low wage industry leaving some employees at a disadvantage in accessing affordable housing in the private market.

Racing Welfare has developed a plan of action in response to the research which outlines the steps they and the industry are going to take to implement the recommendations.

Please click here to download the reports

Impact of welfare reform on housing associations – 2012 Baseline report

last modified Dec 20, 2013 04:20 PM
The National Housing Federation has commissioned Ipsos MORI and Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research to assess how welfare reform impacts across the housing association sector in England.

 

The first component of the research programme is to establish baseline data and understand pre-emptive behaviour change before the reforms come into force. This will be a precursor to monitoring impact after April 2013, up to March 2014. 

Please click here for more details and to download the report

The implications of the 2008-based household projections for estimates of housing need

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:52 PM
Alan Holmans’ new article has now been published in the September issue of the TCPA journal.

New journal article published in the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

last modified May 13, 2015 11:40 AM
Improving housing outcomes: the value of advice and support for vulnerable older people (Burgess, G. and Morrison, N., 2015) has been published by the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment.

Inclusionary housing policy in England: Impact of downturn on delivery of S106 affordable housing

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:10 PM
“Inclusionary housing policy in England: the impact of the downturn on the delivery of affordable housing through Section 106” – just published in the Journal of Housing and the Built Environment by Dr Nicky Morrison and Dr Gemma Burgess.


The purpose of this article is to explore how negotiations between local authorities and developers with regard to meeting S106 have altered during the economic downturn in England. Drawing on recent empirical research, and through the use of case studies, the article highlights the ways in which S106 agreements have been renegotiated at the site level, with the discretionary nature of the planning system allowing compromises to be made. Despite S106 being tied to market activity, with developer contributions being reduced in a downturn, it remains an important policy tool in securing affordable housing and achieving inclusionary housing goals within England to date.


http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10901-013-9360-7

Increasing land supply for housing

last modified Sep 18, 2014 04:16 PM
Dr Gemma Burgess and Sarah Monk discuss the findings from their RICS research paper into the mechanisms available to increase housing land supply.

 

A recent review identified measures taken successfully in other countries (see http://bit.ly/1olnXAF). It also showed that in England and Wales many of these mechanisms are already available or in place in some form. The current research for RICS built on the review to identify case study examples where the mechanisms have successfully been used in England and Wales. This paper for the RICS Property Journal summarises key points from the research.

Please click here to download the article

Institutional Investment in Housing

last modified Mar 04, 2014 11:39 AM
Peter Williams, then Director of CCHPR, gave a presentation on 'Institutional Investment in Housing' during a visit to Australia in March 2012.

Building Social Capital through Community Timebanking: an interim evaluation of the Cambridgeshire timebanking project

last modified Dec 20, 2013 01:48 PM
This research is evaluating the development of a timebanking project in Cambridgeshire for Cambridgeshire County Council and the CHS Group.

 

Timebanking is a community scheme which enables local people to exchange skills and support in a structured way around the swapping of units of their time. It can help to build social capital in local communities, but may also have the potential to generate cost savings. The interim report suggests that the time banks are developing successfully, with increasing numbers of members and exchanges. There is evidence of a range of benefits to the members who are involved and evidence of positive soft outcomes. The challenge for the time bank coordinators is to grow the time banks and consider how they may become sustainable long term. 

Please click here for more details

Interim Report: Landlords’ written strategies to address poverty and disadvantage

last modified Oct 14, 2014 10:16 AM
This is a review of the written strategies of social landlords, local authorities and private landlords' written strategies exploring the focus on poverty within these documents. It has been produced as the second stage in a wider project exploring the role of poverty in housing organisations' strategic and business plans.

 

The report explores the potential impact on poverty of:

  • rent setting
  • allocations
  • development
  • business planning
  • wider community work

The findings from this stage in the research are based on analysis of written policy and strategy documents, which may differ from actions in practice.

While few social landlords issue documents specifically talking about their role in combating poverty, most remain keen to stress their wider social mission which included actions to tackle area deprivation and improve the housing and lives of low income people. However, there was no clear link between explicitly mentioning a goal of alleviating poverty and having detailed strategies to carry out activities which might reduce poverty.

This stage of the research has highlighted some crucial differences between social and private landlords. The private rented sector in all 15 of the case study areas is largely owned by small-scale landlords and managed by small-scale letting agencies, who have only very limited written documentation detailing their plans or strategies.

The next stage of research will explore the extent to which policies and strategies actually reflect practice, the drivers behind any change in strategies and future direction of travel. The final stage of this research, to be published in 2015, will enable us to explore further the relationship between strategy and practice by interviewing the staff of housing organisations, including landlords of all types.

Please click here for download files

Interim Revised Estimates of Future Demand and Need in England in 2006 – 2026

last modified Mar 04, 2014 11:44 AM
The purpose of this work was to revise the estimates of newly arising future demand need for housing published in 2008 by Shelter in Homes for the Future – A new analysis of housing need in England. The occasion for revising these estimates was publishing by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) of new, 2008-based, projections of households.

 

DCLG’s (and predecessors’) projections of households are the central core of the estimates of newly arising future need for housing made by the method used in Homes for the Future and previous work done by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research for Shelter, the Town and Country Planning Association, and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 

Please click here to download the full report

International review of land supply and planning systems

last modified Dec 20, 2013 02:10 PM
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just published an international review of land supply and planning systems conducted by CCHPR, looking at what works and whether successful mechanisms from other countries could be transferred to the UK context. The review suggests that land supply is a key issue contributing to housing market volatility and problems of housing affordability in the UK.

 

The three main messages from the research are:

  • There is no one single measure that will solve the problem – all countries struggle with balancing the need to constrain urban sprawl with the need to build sufficient homes to keep housing (more) affordable.
  • But some countries, while having hot spots with high demand for housing and pressure on urban boundaries, do provide adequately outside these high pressure areas.
  • Successful countries appear to be much more pro-active in the land market than the UK.


Please click here for more details and to download the report

Introduction to time banking and time credits

last modified Nov 10, 2015 03:52 PM
The first working paper of the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech has just been published. It provides an overview of time banking and time credits.

Part of the NIHR funded Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme (PHPES), the aim of the evaluation is to determine the project’s potential to tackle social exclusion, loneliness and deprivation and to assess the extent to which it can reduce health inequalities.

For more information and downloads please click here

Latest UK Housing Review Briefing published

last modified Jul 06, 2015 09:32 AM
UK Housing Review Briefing Paper was launched at the annual CIH Conference on 23rd June. This is an updated companion volume to the full review published earlier in the year.

The briefing paper has 17 articles covering a spectrum of current housing issues including the impact of future welfare reform,  the effect of existing reforms including the bedroom tax; home ownership; housing affordability; homelessness and much more, including the potential impact of extending right to buy to housing associations. The last page offers up an appreciation of the work of Alan Holmans. 

The full briefing paper can be accessed here:

http://www.cih.org/resources/PDF/Policy%20free%20download%20pdfs/UKHR%20Briefing%202015.pdf

The paper was authored by Steve Wilcox, John Perry and Peter Williams and is published by the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Analysis of the potential value for money to the public purse of the Lincolnshire Home Improvement Agency Housing Options Advice service

last modified Dec 20, 2013 01:31 PM
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. 

Please click here for more information and to download the report

Managing Money Better Project Evaluation

last modified Jun 19, 2014 03:31 PM
The Managing Money Better (MMB) project provides money management information and advice through the FirstStop information and advice service for older people, their families and carers through its website, national telephone advice line and its existing network of local partners and peer to peer services, which deliver face to face information and advice on housing, care and money options. It is an integrated part of the housing and care options support service offered by FirstStop. The project aims to reach more vulnerable older people, particularly by providing money advice as a key element of housing and care options advice and support. Dr Gemma Burgess has evaluated the MMB project to analyse the outcomes for vulnerable older people using the service.


Through the face to face casework older people have been empowered to make informed decisions, have gained greater knowledge of the options available and have been supported in appraising these options effectively. The feedback from clients is very positive.

 Positive client outcomes include older people being informed to make appropriate choices, reduced anxiety and better knowledge of options. Through the support provided by case workers the quality of life of older people who have used the service has been improved.

Please click here to download the report

Mapping the number of extra housing units needed for young people

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:37 PM
Centrepoint, the youth homeless charity, commissioned CCHPR to undertake this piece of work looking at the requirement for emergency homeless accommodation, supporting housing units, social housing and private rented housing with the use of Housing Benefit across England with a specific focus on the requirements for those aged 16-25.

Measuring the affordability of housing association rents in England: a dual approach

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:11 PM
A new journal article has been published by Dr Connie Tang in the latest issue of the International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis. The purpose of this article is to compare relative levels of rental affordability across the English housing association sector, using two methods, rent-to-income ratio and residual income standards (poverty-line and budget standard).

 

The rent-to-income ratio analysis identified that housing association rents were generally affordable. However, the residual income analyses using two different minimum acceptable standards suggested some scepticism in this regard. In particular, both analyses confirmed the affordability problem in London where nearly half of existing housing association tenants had disposable household incomes that were well below the poverty-line as well as the largest rent-to-income ratio. Both analyses also confirmed that lone parents were more likely than average households to have an affordability problem. 

The article is published in the International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 5, Issue: 3, pp.218 - 234. You can access the article online by this link:http://www.emeraldinsight.com/fwd.htm?id=aob&ini=aob&doi=10.1108/17538271211243571

Mechanisms to increase housing land supply in England and Wales

last modified May 08, 2014 09:14 AM
A recent review conducted by CCHPR identified measures taken successfully in other countries to bring land forward for housing (Monk et al, 2013). However, it showed that in England and Wales many of these mechanisms are already available or in place in some form. This new research funded by the RICS builds on the review to identify case study examples where the mechanisms have been used successfully.
Mechanisms to increase housing land supply in England and Wales

RICS Report


The research explores particular land supply mechanisms in England: 

  • Flexible growth limit boundaries - Green belt ‘swaps’
  • Putting infrastructure in place prior to development – Revolving Infrastructure Fund
  • Putting infrastructure in place prior to development and land value capture – Tax Increment Funding
  • Land value capture and compensation and incentives – the Community Infrastructure Levy
  • Local authority involvement in land assembly - Compulsory Purchase

For more details and download files please click here

New CCHPR Director Excited by New Opportunities and Challenges Ahead

last modified Feb 28, 2014 12:08 PM
As the new Director of CCHPR I am excited about the opportunities and challenges for this first class research centre in the years ahead. I am determined to utilise the vast range of expertise and experience built up over more than twenty years to produce even more influential, high impact research.

 

From our base in the Department of Land Economy at Cambridge we will continue to deliver housing and planning research that informs policy and practice. Our team of experienced researchers has an excellent reputation for delivering evidence–based dedicated reports for central and local government, market and social housing suppliers, and a whole range of organisations that seek to influence and implement improved policy and practice. 

As we move forward we will search for new opportunities to work with research partners nationally and internationally to continuously enhance our research profile and the scope and depth of our publications. I am particularly keen to build on the international experience of the CCHPR team and my own comparative work that links economics, housing and planning to both broaden and deepen our research- based outputs.

CCHPR welcomes new invitations to carry out high quality bespoke research and to cooperate with others on research that will have major impacts on well-being through better housing and planning policies.

To develop a conversation about how we can work for you and you can work collaboratively with us please contact us.

Michael Oxley

New paper on household income distribution estimates published: Pay to Stay impacts in Local Authority areas in two English regions

last modified Oct 21, 2016 03:57 PM
Drawing on household income distributions, this pilot study by Chihiro Udagawa and Paul Sanderson estimates the localised impact and scale of the new proposed 'Pay to Stay' policy in two contrasting regions - London and the West Midlands.

The Pay to Stay policy requires English local authority landlords to charge market (or quasi-market) rents to tenants on higher incomes.

The analysis showed that the 'Pay to Stay' will affect local authority areas unevenly – The proportion of households affected by the Pay to Stay  were estimated to range from around 6% to 16%, while the numbers affected per local authority ranged from around 300 to 6,500 households.

Please click here to download the report

New Realdania research contract now signed

last modified Dec 20, 2013 04:18 PM
CCHPR is pleased to announce that a new Realdania contract was signed on 30 January 2013. It will last for 18 months and is worth £180,000 ex VAT.

 

Starting from the earlier comparative research on regulation in the private rented sector, the new project will examine four countries in more detail, looking at the place of private renting in the housing system and particularly at the incentives to potential landlords and tenants.

CCHPR Launches its New Website

last modified Mar 04, 2014 10:14 AM
Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research is pleased to announce the launch of its new website, which provides a more integrated, engaging and visual user experience.

 

The new website coincides with the appointment of Michael Oxley as the new Director of CCHPR and marks a new direction in web and social media strategy.

It utilises the new University of Cambridge style templates and is delivered using the University's Falcon CMS service.  As such the website is more visual, engaging and responsive to different screen resolutions.  It is also more closely integrated with the University, with a University header and footer.

The new website is more integrated with social media, utilising 'share' buttons and links to CCHPR's Facebook and Twitter page.  Continuing this more outward looking trend, there is a 'Housing News from the Web' news feed, which includes links to latest news from Inside Housing, GOV.UK and Planning Resource.

CCHPR's back catalogue of projects and publications, from 2000, has been migrated in its entirety and can be accessed on the new website.  Because the website uses an updated file structure, some old bookmarks and links may no longer work.  Where this is the case the navigation bar (above) or the search box (top right) can be utilised.

New publication from Alan Holmans on the history of household projections

last modified Feb 28, 2014 05:08 PM
This paper on the household projections in England by Alan Holmans, looks at their history and uses over time, starting with the 1930s when data from two censuses was used to predict new household formation rates and continuing to the current period when greater emphasis is placed on survey data.

 

Alan has been involved in the household projections since 1968 when they were first produced by ‘modern’ methods (projecting trends in headship rates from actual data) and has continued to work with them after retiring from the Department of the Environment in 1994, including devising a method for using them to produce estimates of future needs for social sector rented housing. Alan has drawn on this experience to prepare this history of household projections and commentary on their uses.

The paper is a review of the household projections, not their future. In particular, the paper ends with a comparison of the projections with the actual outcomes. The reasons why outcomes have not always matched the projections are discussed, including the impact over time of changes in birth rates e.g. the ‘baby boom’ from 1956 to 1964.

Please click here to download the paper

New report on the private rented sector in Europe has now been published

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:49 PM
The Private Rented Sector in the New Century – A Comparative Approach has now been published by the study’s sponsor, Realdania, Denmark. The authors are Christine Whitehead, Sanna Markkanen, Sarah Monk, Kathleen Scanlon and Connie Tang. The study examines the role of regulation in the private rented sector across 11 European countries. A key finding is that well-conceived and well-managed regulation can enhance the private rented sector for both tenants and landlords.

 

The other main findings of the research suggest that:

  • England is the only country reviewed where the private rented sector has been growing rapidly in recent years.
  • In most countries the sector has declined, often accompanied by an increase in owner occupation. However, in some countries, such as England and the Netherlands, a large social rented sector developed with the aid of public subsidy.
  • In some countries, such as Germany, the private rented sector has remained large and stable over time, despite a high degree of regulation.
  • All countries had introduced strict regulations following World War II, in the face of acute housing shortages. In almost all cases this took the form of a total freeze on rents and high security of tenure for residents.
  • These regulations were later reduced in many countries once the housing shortages had been addressed. Usually, initial rents were freely determined, but rent increases for both new and existing tenancies were restricted to cost of living only. Security of tenure remained high in many countries, often with leases of indefinite duration.

 

The study also concluded that it is neither feasible nor desirable to construct a single summary measure of the strength of regulation. 

Please click here to download the full report

New research into housing for young people published

last modified Jun 23, 2016 11:43 AM
A new report into what Local Authorities and Housing Associations in Wales can do to increase the economically viable provision of affordable accommodation for young single people under 35 in the social housing sector.

Forthcoming cuts to Housing Benefit will reduce payments to social tenants if their rent is currently higher than the amount of Housing Benefit they would receive in the private rented sector. For single people under 35 this means that their housing benefit will be capped at the level deemed necessary to rent a room in a shared house, which may be significantly lower than rents on one bedroom social rented flats. In addition, some 18-21 year olds will lose all entitlement to Housing Benefit.

This research was commissioned by Community Housing Cymru and the Welsh Local Government Association. It drew on a survey of young people in Wales, focus groups, interviews with key stakeholders and landlords and analysis of data on current living patterns.

Please click here to see the report

New research into rural housing published

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:41 PM
Social tenants in rural areas are more likely to than those in urban areas to have to move house as a consequence of reductions in housing benefit, but there are fewer smaller dwellings for them to move to.

 

Research by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research has been published today by the Commission for Rural Communities. 

Please click here for more details and to download the final report

Older people’s views of service provision in Cambridge

last modified Feb 28, 2014 05:12 PM
This project was a collaboration led by Dr Gemma Burgess between CCHPR, the Department of Geography and the Office of External Affairs and Communications at the University of Cambridge. A study was conducted on behalf of the Cambridge Older Peoples Reference Group (COPRG) to explore older people’s views of services in the Cambridge area.

 

It was part of an undergraduate research methods course in the Department of Geography. Students were taught research methods before being supported to conduct the research themselves. This innovative project linked academic teaching, research and the wider community. The report has provided a useful piece of research to a local community group working to support older people. 

Please click here to download the report

Papers presented at housing conference, Lillehammer, June 2012

last modified Feb 28, 2014 04:08 PM
Gemma Burgess, Sarah Monk and Christine Whitehead presented papers at the European Network for Housing Research in Lillehammer in June.

 

Sarah and Gemma’s paper was on The role of the planning system in providing housing choice for older Londoners - please click here for more details.

Christine’s paper, also written with Sarah, Connie Tang, Sanna Markkanen and Kathleen Scanlon, was on The role of regulation in the private rented sector: a comparative study - please click here for more details.

The potential for Time Credits to generate public health outcomes – a conceptual model – working paper published

last modified Mar 24, 2016 10:15 AM
A paper from the evaluation of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech has just been published. It outlines how we expect the different activities associated with earning and spending Time Credits to generate public health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

In the paper, we assume positive health outcomes to emerge through a causal process, where a range of ‘lower level’ outcomes associated with Time Credits earn and spend activity affect health and wellbeing, potentially across the life-course.

Please click here to download the paper

The potential for Time Credits to generate public health outcomes – interim report published

last modified Jul 08, 2016 05:12 PM
A report detailing the interim findings from the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech has just been published.

The research so far shows that there are both challenges and opportunities in evidencing the public health outcomes of an intervention such as Time Credits. It suggests that there are benefits for individuals relating to improved health, wellbeing, skills and self-confidence. There are also benefits to organisations and to the wider community. This is ongoing research and further data will be collected to evidence the pathways to positive health outcomes.

To download the report please click here

Poverty focussed review of housing organisations’ strategic and business plans - Initial Report

last modified Mar 12, 2014 10:43 AM
This report presents the findings from the first stage of a project that is exploring where poverty fits within the strategies, policies and business plans of local authorities, housing associations and private landlords.

Prospects for Investment in Social Housing

last modified Mar 17, 2015 02:48 PM
The Investment Property Forum (IPF) commissioned CCHPR to investigate whether institutional investors could be attracted to expand the social housing sector in the UK. The final report was published in February 2015 on the IPF website.

 

Based on interviews with housing associations and institutional investors, the report examined what was driving the appetite for investment, what were the attractions to and requirements of investors from a financial and portfolio perspective, and what were the hurdles that prevented investors from entering the market.  From the social housing providers’ side, the report investigated their appetite for new sources of finance.  The overall findings showed that there was a significant interest in equity investment in the sector from institutional investors, but because of the current climate of low interest rates, social housing providers have a preference for debt financing.  This mismatch of requirements and the barriers to importing often very different models from other markets suggested that there are significant hurdles to be overcome if social housing is to become a meaningful part of UK investors’ real estate portfolios.  This report should therefore be a useful catalyst to the debate.

The report is made available to IPF members to download from the IPF website http://www.ipf.org.uk/

Reality dawns – the impact of welfare reform on housing associations: a mid-2014 view

last modified Jan 14, 2015 09:31 AM
The National Housing Federation has commissioned Ipsos MORI and Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research to assess how welfare reform impacts across the housing association sector in England. This is the third and final report of the series.

 

With the Welfare Reform Act 2012 heralding the introduction of some of the most significant changes to the administration and distribution of benefits in recent times, the National Housing Federation commissioned Ipsos MORI and Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research to assess how these changes impact across the housing association sector in England.

This third and final report examines the impact of a range of welfare reforms on housing associations during 2014.

Please click here to download the report

Report backs government-funded older people’s advice service

last modified Mar 04, 2014 12:00 PM
A comprehensive information and advice service enabling older people to better plan ahead for their future housing and care needs is a key requirement if Britain is to cope successfully with its ageing society. The evaluation of FirstStop shows how it is helping older people to make difficult decisions about their housing and care.

 

Welcoming the study, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: 

“With nearly a fifth of our population expected to be over 65 by 2020, it’s crucial that help and support be available to ensure everyone can make informed choices about their future housing needs.

“Today’s report demonstrates how the FirstStop scheme, backed with £1.5 million Government cash, is providing exactly the kind of advice that people need. And with an additional £20million Disabled Facilities Grant funding available to help with adaptations and extensions, I hope more older people wanting to continue living comfortably in their own homes will be able to do so.”

The reports present the findings from an ongoing evaluation by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, which is analysing and informing the development of the FirstStop service. The new initiative aims to provide older people, their families and carers with a one-stop shop for advice on issues like home improvements and care. Users can call on a freephone number, or visit a website, to obtain independent, impartial information and advice on housing, care options, their rights and financial support. FirstStop also provides face to face advice and assistance locally e.g. helping older people to move to a more suitable home. 

Please click here to view the press release 

Please click here for the FirstStop Phase 2 reports

Research on the effect of rent stabilisation measures in London

last modified Oct 14, 2015 04:15 PM
The London Assembly’s Housing Committee commissioned this study as part of an investigation into the likely impact of a range of rent stabilisation measures on London’s housing market.

This research has built upon the data from London landlords gathered for this previous research in order to examine the specific London effects in more detail, and has supplemented this with further surveying of London landlords.

Please click here for more information and download files

Research on the nature of planning constraints

last modified Apr 04, 2014 10:26 AM
The aim of this research was to analyse the nature of planning constraints on the provision of housing. The research was commissioned by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee.

 

An unexpected finding was that the planning performance targets can create perverse incentives, such as some local authorities refusing an application simply to make a decision within the statutory period. This means that although the data might show that a local authority meets the targets, in reality time is either spent in pre application discussions or on post determination processes, or both, and this time is not reflected in the planning performance data.

Two further problems are elected members rejecting officer recommendations at the last minute and a lack of resources and/or part time staff in planning departments, both of which cause delays. The research also showed that many sources of delay lie beyond the control of the planning system.

However, where local authorities are open for business, welcome development and are focused on providing good customer service, the planning system works well to deliver new homes.

Please click here to download the Summary and Final Report

Health outcomes of place based approaches to building community cohesion: Time Credits in England – research presented by Dr Burgess at AAG conference in San Francisco

last modified May 05, 2016 11:52 AM
Dr Gemma Burgess presented a paper at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting/Geography and Urban Health Symposium in San Francisco in April.

It discussed emerging findings from the evaluation of the public health outcomes of the Cambridgeshire Time Credits project in Wisbech. It reflected on how Time Credits may be a tool to build community cohesion that can lead to positive health outcomes.

To download the presentation please click here

Reselling shared ownership properties after improvements

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:01 PM
This short report, commissioned by Thames Valley Housing Association explores the process of reselling shared ownership properties in situations where owners have made improvements, increasing the value of their home.


The report explores the relative merits of different systems in use for valuing the improvements and attempting to ensure that the owner benefits financially for any uplift in value they have created. 

Please click here for more details and to download the final report

Right to Buy could mean a loss of 75,000 low-cost homes and a higher Housing Benefit bill

last modified Nov 23, 2015 02:07 PM
Replacing housing association homes sold under the new Right to Buy (RTB) scheme with those for sale could drive up costs for low-income tenants and the taxpayer, according to a new report. The new analysis undertaken by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research was published today (20 November) by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It looks at the impact of the tenure of replacement homes.

The report, Understanding the likely poverty impacts of the extension of Right to Buy to housing association tenants, estimates that there will be 75,000 fewer low-cost homes becoming available to let over the next 5 years if the homes built to replace those sold are available as shared ownership rather than as low-cost rentals.

Taking into account the incomes of social tenants, the affordability of homes and the take-up rate of RTB by council tenants, researchers predict that 128,000 Housing Association tenants are likely to buy their homes under RTB over the next 5 years – fewer than one in 10 of all tenants.  The report finds:

  • There are currently around 180,00 housing association tenants who could afford to exercise their RTB
  • Around half of these will be required to pay higher Rents under the Governments new Pay to Stay scheme, and the higher rents they will face are likely to encourage them to buy their homes if possible

The policy will have a huge impact on people who need to access low cost rented homes in the future. Building replacement homes for sale as shared ownership will mean that people seeking a social rented home will be pushed into the bottom end of the private rented sector, where homes are typically more expensive, less secure and in worse condition than Housing Association homes. The report finds that over the next five years if replacement homes are built for sale:

  • 62,000 tenants will have to find an average of £1,668 extra a year to pay private rent. Around a third of these households are paying their rent themselves from their generally low earnings.
  • The other two thirds are in receipt of housing benefit, meaning that £31 million will be added onto the housing benefit bill as more people who claim housing benefit are pushed into the more expensive private rented sector or remain longer in homeless accommodation.
  • Just three percent of new social tenants could afford to buy the replacement properties if they were available as shared ownership.

In contrast, if the homes are built back at the same rent levels as those lost, there is only a temporary loss of lettings – caused by the delay whilst replacement housing is built. Under this scenario the estimated housing benefit costs of the policy fall to around £16 million and the increase numbers renting privately or in homeless accommodation is close to zero by the end of five years. The number of available lettings will increase after five years as new rented homes continue to be built.

The replacement homes will be funded by the sale of high-value council homes, likely to be classified as homes that are valued in the top third regionally. Local Authorities have different proportions of high value housing stock, meaning that some face losing a large amount of their social housing, while others will be forced to sell very little, or own none to start with. The five worst affected areas are all in the London commuter belt, and face losing more than half of all their low-cost lettings.

Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said:

“To get to grips with the housing crisis we desperately need more affordable homes across all tenures, and Right to Buy will help unlock home ownership for some families who would not otherwise have been able to afford it. But this research shows how important it is to keep up the numbers of genuinely affordable rented homes. To make sure that this policy doesn’t drive up poverty in the long term, the Government must ensure that every low-rent home sold is replaced by another of the same tenure, same cost and same locality.”

Anna Clarke, Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, said:

“The research has shown that the rent level of replacement stock is critical. Replacement homes for sale or shared ownership will not be affordable to those seeking social rented housing. Replacement on a like-for-like basis could have a positive impact on the availability of social lettings, over the next five to ten years, though in the long term the subsidy for Right-to-Buy discounts cannot forever be found by selling off high value council stock without continually stretching the definition of high value.”

Please click here to view the full report

Road and Sewer Bonds in England and Wales – report to the NHBC

last modified May 19, 2015 10:01 AM
The NHBC Foundation commissioned this research to investigate the circumstances and consequences of performance bonds required by highways authorities and water supply companies for housing developments.

The role of the planning system in delivering housing choice for older Londoners

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:34 PM
This study was commissioned by the Greater London Authority to investigate the role of planning in meeting the housing needs of older Londoners.


It is partly a ‘think piece’ to look specifically at the role of the planning system in helping to ensure that older Londoners have a choice of homes that they can afford and which meet their requirements for different sizes and types of dwellings in high quality environments. The study also includes original research on the scale of need for specialist housing at local level.

The findings of the study have been used to inform the Housing SPG and it is expected that the study will be of use to Boroughs in the development of polices related to older persons housing. The findings of the study will inform the further alterations to the London Plan with a view to strengthening policy on the delivery of older persons housing (further work may be required on older persons needs for other specialist services). In addition, the report will be of use to the Mayor’s Housing and Investment Teams, when updating the Housing Strategy and making funding decisions. 

Please click here to download the report and appendices

The changing delivery of planning gain through Section 106 and the Community Infrastructure Levy

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:35 PM
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.


The research 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. 

Please click here for more details and to download the report

Sarah Monk elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences

last modified Dec 11, 2014 09:19 AM
CCHPR is delighted that Sarah Monk, who was our Deputy Director for several years, has been elected a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. The Academy have recognised Sarah as leading researcher in the field of housing and urban economics and planning.

 

The Academy of Social Sciences is the National Academy of Academics, Learned Societies and Practitioners in the Social Sciences. Its mission is to promote social sciences in the United Kingdom for the public benefit.

Please click here for more details on the Academy of Social Sciences website

Scoping study on service use by the Cambridgeshire D/deaf communities

last modified Dec 19, 2013 02:59 PM
This study aimed to begin to explore the use of different services in Cambridgeshire by people who are D/deaf.

 

The research identified several gaps in knowledge about particular groups within the D/deaf community and also identified gaps in services in Cambridgeshire. 

Please click here for more details and to download the report

Select Committee on the future of housing associations

last modified Dec 15, 2015 01:29 PM
Senior Research Associate, Anna Clarke, gave evidence to the Government’s Select Committee on the future of housing associations on 14th December.

They were particularly interested in the Centre’s recent work for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the poverty impacts of the Right to Buy for housing association tenants.

You can watch the select committee session here

Shadow EU Summit Managing Tomorrow’s Cities – Dr Gemma Burgess gives key note speech on social inclusion

last modified Apr 27, 2016 02:24 PM
The shadow EU-summit in Amsterdam is the platform where students, experts and policymakers meet to provide practical, valuable and realistic solutions on a wide range of today’s and tomorrow’s urban challenges http://www.shadoweusummit.eu/. Dr Gemma Burgess gave a key note speech on social inclusion which you can download here:

The European (EU) Urban Agenda is a joint effort of European Commission, Member States and European Cities Networks to strengthen the recognition of the urban dimension by European and national policy actors.

This involves developing a multilevel governance approach (Pact of Amsterdam) to make EU policy more “urban-proof”. A series of meetings, scheduled to take place in April and May 2016, are designed to provide input for a Ministerial Meeting on May 30th attended by European Ministers responsible for urban development. The aim is to have an agreement regarding the start of the EU Urban Agenda and the launch of the first 4 thematic multilevel governance partnerships.

The shadow EU-summit is a method designed to allow students and researchers to actively and realistically participate in policy making concerning the EU Urban Agenda. The shadow EU summit ‘Managing tomorrow’s Cities’ aims to achieve policy recommendations on issues that are central to the Urban Agenda which would constitute a shadow Urban Agenda. This shadow Urban Agenda will be presented as input to the Ministerial Meeting on May 30th.

Please click here to see the presentation slides

Sight Loss is not Life Loss: Evaluation for Southampton Sight

last modified Aug 19, 2014 05:03 PM
The Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research at the University of Cambridge has undertaken an independent evaluation of the Sight Loss is not Life Loss project for Southampton Sight. The evaluation found that the project is helping to reduce social isolation and to support people in maintaining their independence.

 

Southampton Sight is a small local charity based in Southampton. They are the main provider of long term support and social activities for those with sight loss in Southampton.

Please click here to download the Evaluation Report

Strategic planning for development, rents etc.? Would analysis of household incomes at local level help? Ask CCHPR.

last modified Jun 18, 2015 09:02 AM
Information about household incomes at a local level has long been acknowledged as a gap in available data. Social landlords in particular often need household incomes at local authority level in order to set, for example, Affordable Rents for different sizes of property, and to assess the potential market for shared ownership development.

To address this issue, CCHPR has developed a model to estimate household income distribution by percentile for eight household types at local market level using the latest available data – this could be local authority level, or lower, e.g. ward level. A sample report for Bromley (at Mid-Super Output Area) level is available for download:

Estimated net income distribution for eight household types in the London Borough of Bromley at mid-Super Output Area (SOA) level

Critically, the incomes produced exclude income-related benefits. This produces a picture of actual incomes without the rent-related impact of Housing Benefits.

CCHPR has carried out analyses for various organisations, including housing associations and local authorities – at considerably lower cost than offered elsewhere. Whether your organisation requires data outputs (with or without accompanying charts) or full reports including commentary please email an outline of your requirements to Chihiro Udagawa for a quotation. 

The demographic time bomb

last modified Feb 28, 2014 03:44 PM
By 2032 a quarter of the British population will be over the age of 65. On November 3, a panel of economists, businessmen and social scientists will gather in Cambridge to discuss the issues surrounding this rapid demographic change.

 

Part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, Dr Gemma Burgess gave a presentation focusing on the potentially unsustainable pressures of an ageing demographic who own £932 billion in equity in their homes, but who will in the coming years be relying ever more heavily on health and social care services. 

Please click here for more details on the University website