The ESRC has funded a wide range of research projects and initiatives which contribute to a housing portfolio. Housing affects our everyday life. It is interwoven into the wider economy, the financial system and the wellbeing of citizens.
There have been numerous reports on UK housing in the past year or two and there is recognition that the existing stakeholder base for UK housing is fragmented which makes coordinated action difficult. The ESRC hosted an event in October 2014 jointly with the British Academy setting out some of the issues relating to housing including implications for the wider economy as well as asset distribution and inequalities. There is consensus that there is a need for some sort of coordinating evidence hub for housing which will build bridges across the research base as well as stakeholder groups. In March 2015 we convened a stakeholder meeting to explore appetite and funding streams for such an investment.
Following this we have been engaged in conversations and meetings around the potential commissioning of an evidence centre for UK housing issues. In January 2016 we hosted a consultation workshop, bringing together key stakeholders to help shape the proposal for this centre. The proposed evidence centre on UK housing aims to fill a clear gap in providing robust evidence to inform housing policies and practices across the UK. At its core, the investment will be about the connectivity, accessibility and integration of evidence, and joining up different stakeholders and sectors in establishing recommendations for housing policies and practice.
The ESRC, the Joseph Rowntree and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, launched the call in May 2016. The successful national research centre was awarded to Professor Ken Gibb, University of Glasgow which is a collaboration between nine UK Universities and four non-HEI organisations. The five year centre will launch on 1 August 2017.
ESRC research, initiatives and related activities
- How can we create better homes and neighbourhoods? (Understanding Society website)
- Big Society, Localism and Housing - ESRC seminar series (external website)
- Making the zero-carbon standard home: understanding project-firm innovation in UK house building (Gateway to Research website)
- Family trajectories and young adults' transitions into homeownership: A longitudinal perspective (Gateway to Research website)
- Urban dynamics in a complex world: The spatial dynamics of housing (Gateway to Research website)
Publications and resources
- Studying the evidence - article by Terrie Alafat (Inside Housing website - free registration required to access)
- A UK Housing Evidence Centre - article by Stephen Millard, Senior Economist at the Bank of England (Royal Economic Society website)
- Blog: Brick by Brick - by Professor Ken Gibb, University of Glasgow
- UK Housing: Setting out the challenge - Output of a joint ESRC/British Academy Conference (PDF, 533Kb)
- ESRC evidence briefing: Make room: the need for housing space
- ESRC evidence briefing: Boosting affordable housing
- Turning houses into gold: the failure of British planning - by Professor Paul Cheshire (LSE website)
- Local economic conditions and the nature of new housing supply - report by Spatial Economics Research Centre (PDF, 1.7Mb)
- Supporting robust evidence for UK housing policy and practice - article by Julie McLaren (ESRC blog)