A substantial new research body is to be launched this summer with a remit of looking at six overlapping aspects of housing.
Called the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence, or CaCHE, it will be independent from government and is a collaboration between nine universities and four non-higher education organisations.
It will have staff located at five hubs in Glasgow, Sheffield, London, Cardiff and Belfast.
CaCHE will be led by the University of Glasgow and says it aims to “advance knowledge of the housing market, provide robust evidence to inform housing policy and practice across the UK, and will join together a comprehensive range of stakeholders with the goal of tackling housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level.”
The centre will launch on August 1 and will receive £6m of funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, with additional support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
The work of the centre will focus on six overlapping themes - Housing and the economy; Understanding housing markets and their demand, need, supply and delivery; Housing aspirations, choices and outcomes; Housing, poverty, health, education and employment; Housing and neighbourhood design, sustainability and place-making; and multi-level governance.
The centre says almost one in 10 British jobs are in the housing sector while more than a fifth of household spending goes on rent, mortgage payments, home repairs, maintenance and improvements. It claims the availability, cost and design of housing impacts on people’s aspirations, their health and wellbeing, and even their children's education.
Professor Ken Gibb, currently at the University of Glasgow, will be principal investigator and director of CaCHE and says the centre “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.”