Our themes

Based upon the key issues affecting housing within the UK and beyond, our themes guide our research.


The housing sector and the economy have, and always will, remain intricately linked.

Considering both financial and wealth inequalities, economic productivity shifts, and the stability dynamics of housing outcomes, our research aims to positively influence economic policy.

Theme leads: Prof. Craig A. Watkins, Prof. Chris Leishman


Housing reflects and perpetuates societal inequalities.

We look into the disparities within and between societies by identifying drivers of inequality and scrutinising policy impacts, with the goal of promoting a more equitable system.

Theme leads: Dr. Jenny Preece, Prof. David Robinson


Net zero housing is our focus.

Tackling carbon emissions, energy poverty, and environmental justice, our research combines technical solutions with social insights, driving the transition to sustainable living while ensuring affordability and fairness.

Theme leads: Prof. Ken Gibb, Prof. Aimee Ambrose


Place matters – it shapes our lives.

Our theme examines the relationship between neighborhood urban form and architecture, driving sustainable, well-designed homes. We explore planning systems, housebuilding practices, and residents’ experiences to create thriving communities.

Theme leads: Prof. James White, Dr Phil O’Brien, Dr Sarah Payne

Data navigator

Data drives decisions.

A wealth of UK housing data in one accessible hub. By cataloguing, analysing, and enhancing data sources, we aim to support researchers, policymakers, and the public to make informed choices.

Theme lead: Prof. Scott Orford

Comparative Evidence

The world holds answers.

By comparing housing policies and practices internationally, this cross-cutting theme seeks to understand, adapt, and transfer effective housing strategies, fostering innovation and driving change.

Theme lead: Prof. Mark Stephens


Housing is a system within systems.

By applying systems thinking, we weave complex science and interdisciplinary insights to dissect housing’s intricate role in society and policy.

Theme lead: Prof. Alex Marsh

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