Bristol to partner in major new UK Housing Evidence Centre
Press release issued: 6 April 2017
A new national research centre that will advance knowledge of the housing market, provide robust evidence to inform housing policy and practice across the UK, is announced today [6 April] by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Housing has a considerable impact on our society and economy. Almost 1 in 10 British jobs are in the housing sector, and more than a fifth of household spending goes on rent, mortgage payments, home repairs, maintenance and improvements. The availability, cost and design of housing impacts on people’s aspirations, their health and wellbeing, and even their children’s education. Failure of housing markets can lead to wider economic problems, as well as poverty and homelessness.
The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), led by the University of Glasgow, will join together a comprehensive range of stakeholders with the goal of tackling housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level.
The University of Bristol will be one of the core partners in the CaCHE consortium, alongside the Universities of Glasgow, Sheffield, Reading, Cardiff, Heriot-Watt, Ulster, Sheffield Hallam and St Andrews, and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The non-academic partners in the consortium are: the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Royal Town Planning Institute, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The work of the programme will focus on six overlapping themes:
- Housing and the economy;
- Understanding housing markets: demand and need, supply and delivery;
- Housing aspirations, choices and outcomes;
- Housing, poverty, health, education and employment;
- Housing and neighbourhood design, sustainability and place-making;
- Housing and multi-level governance.
Professor Ken Gibb, currently Director of Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow, will be Principal Investigator and Director of CaCHE. He said: “In the UK, housing is one of the main policy challenges facing national and devolved governments. This major new programme will allow policy makers and practitioners across the UK to benefit from the best possible evidence to help them take the robust action needed to tackle chronic housing problems.
“The aim is to use multi-disciplinary expertise to provide relevant and rigorous housing evidence and research to influence and ultimately alter housing policy for the benefit of all.
“I am delighted that the University of Glasgow and our partners will be taking the lead on this incredibly important subject. The serious and complex problems of the housing system are too important to ignore. This is why I’m looking forward to this major new initiative making a serious contribution to tackling one of the most pressing policy problems in the UK today.”
Professor Alex Marsh, Head of the Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research at the School for Policy Studies, will lead CaCHE’s housing and multi-level governance theme at the University of Bristol. He added: “We face a tangled web of interconnected housing problems. The substantial investment in the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence offers a unique opportunity to bring together wide-ranging expertise to take holistic and multidisciplinary approaches to exploring these problems.
“Enhancing our understanding of diverse approaches to the governance of housing is integral to addressing these problems effectively. I am looking forward to working with colleagues on this essential component of the centre’s work.
“The underpinning ethos of the centre – ensuring academic experts are in continuous and close dialogue with policy and professional colleagues and concerns – demonstrates the commitment both to ensuring relevance and to making meaningful progress in addressing long-standing and deep-rooted challenges.”
The centre will launch on 1 August 2017 and is funded for a period of five years.
- The Centre for Urban and Public Policy Research at the School for Policy Studies seeks to combine interests in social and urban theory with practical involvement in current issues of policy in the UK and across the world. Centre members come from the disciplines of economics, social policy, geography, public policy and political science.#
- The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policymakers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organisations more effective. The ESRC also works collaboratively with six other UK research councils and Innovate UK to fund cross-disciplinary research and innovation addressing major societal challenges. The ESRC is an independent organisation, established by Royal Charter in 1965, and funded mainly by the Government.
- The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.
- JRF is an independent organisation working to inspire social change through research, policy and practice.
- The core partners are the Universities of Glasgow, Sheffield, Reading, Cardiff, Heriot-Watt, Bristol, Ulster, Sheffield Hallam and St Andrews; along with the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. The non-academic partners in the consortium are: the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Royal Town Planning Institute, and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. An international advisory board will be chaired by Lord Kerslake, former Head of the Home Civil Service.
- CaCHE’s administration will be located in Glasgow but there will also be hubs in Sheffield, Cardiff and London. Apart from the 29 co-investigators from the partner organisations, the programme will involve 220 named individual collaborators and more than 12 additional non-academic partners.
- A housing data navigator hub will be based at the University of Cardiff, and CaCHE will operate a “network of networks” to share existing expertise by working with, and add to, rather than duplicating the many excellent existing professional, policy and practice networks that cover discrete housing sectors and UK regions