As we bid farewell to 2023, Prof Ken Gibb, Director of CaCHE, reflects on a year of transition, collaboration and opportunity before looking ahead to what’s in store in the new year.

CaCHE has been busy internally and externally over 2023, the first full year of our new funding phase. By the end of the year, we now have five researchers and five knowledge exchange staff in post, a new communications and engagement manager, and several early successes that support our modified business model (we are now more geared up to seeking external funding for projects that meet our core objectives).

We are delighted to have completed the preliminary work with our knowledge exchange hubs to identify a CaCHE-wide project anchored in systems thinking but reflecting ‘wicked’ priorities identified across the UK (referred to as the “Tobin 2” project).

During 2023, we also played an important role in a new four-year Horizon project (EqualHouse) led by Michelle Norris at University College Dublin and led locally by Mark Stephens, continued an ongoing partnership research project with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which is looking for ways to support key aspects of the Housing to 2040 strategy in Scotland, and began work on a project with the Centre for Ageing Better evaluating the impact of home improvement services.

It’s been great to see CaCHE being involved in such a broad scope of projects this year, which has seen us collaborate on the development of a long-term vision for housing in England with the Church of England and the Nationwide Foundation, undertake a private rented sector regulation review for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), assess local housing allowance in Scotland for CIH, and complete the longstanding Niddrie Road retrofit evaluation.

Looking forward to the new year, CaCHE co-investigators are involved in multiple submitted research council bids, which will be decided on in the first half of 2024. In addition, during the first quarter of 2024, we will initiate the Tobin 2 project, establish a regular webinar series and announce a new international research network.

As the year progresses, we will continue to discuss other research opportunities with various partners in different parts of the UK, several of which we hope will be carried out through 2024. One example is a partnership with Barrhead Housing Association, which we hope will lead to a new build version of the evaluation methods used in Niddrie Road.

Finally, we look forward to working with our new international advisory board and our academic challenge panel.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year when it comes.

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