BLOG: Housing Studies Association Conference 2024: Reflections
UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence Co-Investigator Dr Jenny Preece, based at the University of Sheffield, reflects on an eventful week of presenting, engaging with sessions and networking at the […]
Published: 22 Apr, 2024

UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence Co-Investigator Dr Jenny Preece, based at the University of Sheffield, reflects on an eventful week of presenting, engaging with sessions and networking at the Housing Studies Association Conference 2024 in Sheffield.

Several CaCHE colleagues attended the Housing Studies Association (HSA) in Sheffield last week. It was an excellent opportunity to catch up with people working on housing topics and to meet new faces, as the HSA always has a solid representation of early career researchers at the conference. We often talk about the HSA as the friendliest conference, and for people taking their first steps in the housing research world, it is a great place to get feedback and ideas.

On day one, I presented alongside Vikki McCall and Sadhana Jagannath about our use of the serious game ‘Our House’ within the ongoing national evaluation of home improvement services in England. The session also featured talks about innovative methods, like creating artworks from object elicitation, as both an ethical approach to research and a way of giving back to participants.

My second talk was about the role of emotions in policy processes, building on my work on housing safety crises. This is part of a BA/Leverhulme-funded project and considers how emotions are used by Governments and by citizens to shape housing policies related to building safety, looking at post-Grenfell fire safety in England and the Mica / defective block crisis in Ireland.

Although I swapped into this session due to a clash, all the papers were well-connected, and there were a lot of interesting discussions. Jo Richardson was talking about pain in the social housing sector, another talk focused on feelings, whilst Chiara Prevete highlighted the importance of accountability in social housing via tenant participation, framing this in a post-Grenfell context.

The challenge with HSA is always choosing which sessions to attend next! Other CaCHE colleagues presented work on adaptations and healthy ageing, housing inequality, financialisation and disrepair, Universal Credit and housing insecurity, affordable housing supply in Scotland, overcrowding, and monetary policy in the UK and Australia—a very diverse set of topics showing the breadth of our research interests and activity.

At the last session I attended, a first-year PhD student presented their initial ideas for their research about repairs and health outcomes in council housing. The discussion drew contributions from colleagues with decades of experience, those in their first postdoc roles, and practitioners, all of whom wanted to offer their support and express their interest in the work. The collaborative and supportive nature of the HSA makes it an essential space for our discipline. 

You can view more of Jenny’s work here.

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