Successful Funding Bid for Affordable Housing Project Across DepartmentsBy Oxford Brookes The Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment Oct 31, 2013 8:40PM UTC
Dr. Sue Brownhill, Department of Planning at Oxford Brookes University and Dr. Youngha Cho, Department of Real Estate and Construction, have been successful in a bid to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) worth £75,000.
Dr. Youngha Cho and Dr. Sue Brownhill are co-principle investigators and will be working with Dr. Ramin Keivani (Land Policy and Urban Development), Dr. Dave Valler (Spatial Planning) and Nick Whitehouse (Visiting Proffesor and Senior Research Fellow in Sustainable Development in Architecture). Dr. IIir Nase and Lesley Downing are also acting as researchers for the project.
The project entitled ‘Planning Obligations: What factors deliver affordable homes and what alternatives are there?’ will be funded by JRF for 9 months (14th Oct 2013 -7th July 2014) and will facilitate research collaboration across the three built environment areas within the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Brookes; the Department of Planning, the Department of Real Estate and Construction and the School of Architecture.
‘Planning Obligations: What factors deliver affordable homes and what alternatives are there?’ aims to re-examine the role of planning obligations in providing housing for those on the lowest incomes, and from this consider potential alternative solutions and provide effective local frameworks to address the identified shortfalls. Despite previous research, which shows a clear link between poverty and house costs, the role of planning obligations in providing housing for people on low incomes has not yet been proven. The research aims to address these issues, and identify the key factors which influence the effectiveness of planning obligations to provide affordable housing to those in poverty.
Recent reforms present many challenges to achieving affordable housing. The research project aims to explore these and provide alternatives where planning obligations are not delivering sufficient housing. It will also look for opportunities in changing policy, such as the production of neighbourhood plans, new financial tools, institutional investment and new ways of providing land for affordable housing.
The researchers from Oxford Brookes will also develop a methodology for determining localised strategies to maximise the delivery of affordable housing. This is a key feature of the project and will involve a thorough examination of six case study areas, chosen to reflect a variety of housing market and policy conditions. They will also devise a series of future scenarios for affordable housing provision and then suggest a localised strategy to realistically achieve them.
When asked about the project, Dr. Sue Brownhill and Dr. Youngha Cho said:
“This project forms a key part of JRF’s Housing and Poverty programme which aims to set out realistic policy and practice approaches for how the planning system can deliver more affordable housing, particularly for those living in poverty in the UK. Given the well-publicised crisis in housing affordability in England and the UK this is a very topical and urgent area of research. The UK economy is still struggling to recover from the damaging effect of the economic downturn, but while house prices and rents are rising, increasing numbers of people are experiencing poverty and material deprivation. Through this research we aim to show more effective housing responses that could minimise the impact of poverty.”
“We are very pleased to work with other colleagues from the different departments. We believe that the wide range of skills and expertise within our team reflects the multi-faceted nature of the issue and will lead to the successful completion of the project.”
The outcome of the project will engender debate and knowledge-transfer and will develop practical and implementable ways forward to delivering affordable homes.
For more information about the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University and the courses we offer can be found at the website here.