UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence announces major new projects at London event

The recently established UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) was officially launched at a Westminster event today where academics from across the UK announced a series of major research projects.

As it stands, many UK housing policies have been based on assumptions or beliefs rather than fact. Over the next five years, UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence will work to ensure that policymakers and practitioners benefit from rigorous evidence which will contribute to tackling the UK’s housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local

The Centre, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is a
collaboration between ten universities and three non-higher education organisations. Staff are located at hubs across the UK in Glasgow, Sheffield, London, Reading, Cardiff and Belfast.

The Centre has been operating since 1st August and was officially launched at a networking event at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in London on 18th October to announce its work programme for this year, including major new research projects, a UK wide knowledge exchange network within the sector, and support for early career researchers.

During the event, Director and Principal Investigator, Professor Ken Gibb, provided more information about the programme of work that will be undertaken. These focus on the Centre’s 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;
  • Multi-level governance.

Lord Bob Kerslake, former head of the Home Civil Service and Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, is the Chair of the International Advisory Board.

He said: “After months of planning and preparation, Ken Gibb and his team are now embarking on important research on housing in the UK, an area that is widely and correctly seen to be a sector of the economy and society that is not working for too many people, in too many places and with too many wider negative consequences.

“I wish them well and look forward to the new international advisory board playing a major role in their work”.

Professor Gibb added: “CaCHE will generate a bank of evidence reviews and research that aims to fill important gaps and contribute to policy and practice development.

But it is also these wider roles that excite us so much: making a significant contribution to establishing the next cohort of housing researchers, using different channels to deepen and maintain networks between academia and those working in or making policies for the housing sector.

“This is potentially a second legacy from a research investment that primarily seeks to use evidence to influence policy and embed evidencing into making policy.”

Professor Tony McEnery, Interim Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, said: “As a nation, we face certain housing challenges such as a lack of affordable
homes for young people, meeting the housing needs of an ageing population, building sustainable houses that are resilient to flooding and climate change, and tackling homelessness.

“We want to improve the UK’s growth and stability, but we also want to build strong communities and improve the well-being and prosperity of citizens. This requires effective housing policies and so it is vital that policymakers have the best evidence at hand when making decisions about what sort of houses to build, where and for whom.

“This Centre draws together internationally renowned experts across a diverse range of fields. It will serve as a vital national institution and provide a leading voice in the UK on housing issues.”

Alexandra Vincent, Associate Director of Programmes at the Arts and Humanities Research Council, said:

“The AHRC is delighted to congratulate Professor Gibb and the team on the launch of the Centre. The emphasis on how arts and humanities can contribute to a broader understanding and improved evidence base for housing policy and practice is especially welcome. Along with the other founders, we are looking forward to working with the CaCHE team to realise the exciting ambitions of the Centre.”

Brian Robson, Policy and Research Manager for housing at the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation said: “The UK’s housing crisis has led to rising poverty and insecurity. But housing policy is also central to ensuring everyone in the UK can achieve a decent and secure standard of living.  To stop high housing costs from driving down standards of living, we need a specific focus on evidence-based policies to make the market work for people on low incomes. I’m delighted JRF has been able to contribute to the establishment of this independent centre of expertise, with a presence in all four UK nations; and that consideration of the close links between housing and poverty will run throughout its work.”

Click here to download the full press release.


Date: October 18, 2017 6:00 pm



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