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Building on the past

Building on the past: Visions of housing futures

Peter Malpass
Liz Cairncross
Copyright Date: 2006
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  • Book Info
    Building on the past
    Book Description:

    Despite the improved supply and quality of housing in the UK and Europe over the last 60 years, the future of housing remains uncertain. Will the supply of new housing meet demand? Is decent, affordable housing an achievable goal? How far will governments seek to shape the market? How will they respond to demographic pressures in different parts of the country? Will housing wealth become a central issue in wider debates about the future of public services? This book looks at the big questions affecting the future of housing as a key indicator of social and economic well-being in the 21st century. It brings together specially commissioned contributions by leading housing experts who explore a wide range of themes and issues affecting the prospects for the coming 20 years or more. Drawing on the evidence of the past and present they analyse the implications of current trends to consider how markets and governments might respond to the challenges ahead. The book is not a work of prophecy or a manifesto for action. It is designed to stimulate and contribute to informed debate about possible futures and what can be done to influence what happens. Building on the past will be of interest to all those concerned about the future of housing, neighbourhoods and communities over the next 20 years.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-155-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of tables, figures and photographs
    (pp. vi-viii)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Jon Rouse

    One of the most daunting aspects of my role as Chief Executive of The Housing Corporation is knowing that the decisions we take today about the projects we fund will have a lasting effect on future generations.

    At the same time I remind myself that over 90% of the housing stock that we inhabit today will be the same stock we inhabit in over 30 years’ time. Thus, the even more daunting task is to make the most of what we’ve already got.

    This publication is designed to help us to face up to both these tasks, in making choices...

  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xi)
  6. List of contributors
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  7. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)
    Peter Malpass and Liz Cairncross

    Building on the pastis a title highlighting the way in which modern towns and cities are to a large extent literally built on top of the foundations of earlier structures. As urban populations grow, so governments and planning systems around the world are increasingly emphasising the need to contain physical expansion and to increase residential densities. In Britain, for example, the Report of the Urban Task Force (1999, p 11), called for the development of brownfield land and the recycling of existing buildings to be made more attractive than building on greenfield sites. This was rapidly translated into a...

  8. TWO Moving with the times: changing frameworks for housing research and policy
    (pp. 15-50)
    Alan Murie

    This chapter is concerned with the future direction of change in housing, especially in the UK. On the whole we have not been very good in the past at anticipating changes in housing and the intention is to reflect on changes that have taken place since the 1960s and to assess the implications for future change. The starting point is the evidence from housing research over a period of more than 30 years, the frameworks that have dominated the way research evidence has been organised and presented in the UK and Europe, and changes that mean that we need to...

  9. THREE A new vision for UK housing?
    (pp. 51-72)
    Richard Best

    This chapter considers the government’s twin visions of ‘sustainable new communities’ and ‘neighbourhood renewal’. It notes the economic, social and environmental drivers for increasing housing supply within sustainable communities, and it touches on the importance for northern urban areas of the housing market renewal initiatives. It concludes that these twin approaches to easing housing problems are justified by the evidence, but that the desired outcomes will be hard to achieve.

    The chapter notes how political factors moderate the prospects for progress, and how delivery of these housing visions will also be difficult if underlying truths about land, about the costs...

  10. FOUR Housing demand, supply and the geography of inequality
    (pp. 73-96)
    Christine M.E. Whitehead

    Housing outcomes are the result of a range of choices and constraints that help to determine demand and supply as modified by government policy. In spatial terms two of the most important attributes of housing are its locational specificity and its longevity. To state the obvious, but an important obvious, housing is built in a particular location which cannot be changed without incurring very significant costs;a particular dwelling is located in a relatively well-defined and only slowly changing physical environment in terms of other housing, infrastructure, accessibility to employment and local services; and what is built initially can only be...

  11. FIVE Understanding the drivers of housing market change in Britain’s postindustrial cities
    (pp. 97-126)
    Brendan Nevin and Philip Leather

    One of the striking features of the present period is that it is no longer reasonable (if it ever was) to refer to the housing market in the singular: demand varies considerably from place to place. This is unlikely to be an ephemeral characteristic, since it reflects deep-seated developments in the wider economic base of different regions and sub–regions. The issue of low-demand housing raises important questions about the role of government and the extent to which market forces can be, and should be, interfered with in an era of rhetorical emphasis on deregulation and small government. This chapter...

  12. SIX Affordability comes of age
    (pp. 127-162)
    Glen Bramley

    In 1980 the term ‘affordability’ was not widely used in relation to UK housing policy. Now, however, we have a freer housing market than at any time since 1915, and a social rented sector that has been in numerical and proportionate decline for 25 years;for 80% of households in the UK housing consumption is essentially based on ability to pay what the market will bear, and we have embarked on an era in which affordability has become a key concept. We have moved, as Whitehead (1991) predicted, from a needs-based to an affordability-based housing policy. While it can be argued...

  13. SEVEN Mob mentality: the threat to community sustainability from the search for safety
    (pp. 163-184)
    Rowland Atkinson

    It is difficult to separate public policy interventions, even those as central as the provision of public housing, from utopianism and desires to affect both the housing and social futures of citizens (Ravetz, 2001). Government action and academic research is full of assessments of the likely future impacts of extrapolated trends, such as housing expenditure, economic growth and change, social need, household mobility and likely regional and labour market changes which will affect the type and scale of need for social and private housing. Among these anticipated changes, any attempt to prophesy the future is deeply linked to how we...

  14. EIGHT Housing and the ageing population
    (pp. 185-220)
    Moyra Riseborough and Peter Fletcher

    Understanding about older people and housing¹ has been influenced by pervasive social constructions of ageing that portray older life as a time of disengagement from the workforce, followed by low economic production or consumption, increasing decline, poverty, dependency and death (Phillipson, 1998;Tulle-Winterton, 1999). Today older age is rarely portrayed so narrowly, but negative images are persistent (Age Concern England and ITC, 2000; Audit Commission, 2004), and ageism, described by Bytheway (1995) as prejudice on the grounds of age, is deeply embedded in society and our institutions. The cumulative effects frequently lead to impoverished and narrow views about the relationship between...

  15. NINE Tenant futures: the future of tenants in social housing
    (pp. 221-238)
    Phil Morgan

    This chapter looks at the role of tenants in social housing in 2025. It seeks to explore trends that are already apparent and to ask some uncomfortable questions about the housing futures of both tenants and landlords. The chapter aims to be, in equal parts, predictive, aspirational and provocative. It is not, however, a solo effort, and thanks go to a number of TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) staff and activists for their earlier commentary. The responsibility for the chapter is, however, mine alone.

    Tenants in 2025 will not be the same as tenants today, and so this chapter sets...

  16. TEN Democracy and development
    (pp. 239-262)
    Stephen Platt and Ian Cooper

    Earlier chapters have explored a range of factors — affordability, market forces, demographic change and policy action — that affect or are likely to affect housing futures. In this chapter we develop the discussion of consumer preferences begun by Phil Morgan (Chapter Nine), looking at their likely impact in future years. The aim is to report a number of innovative studies that have explored the potential for stakeholders to discuss how towns and cities might develop over time. The chapter outlines novel methodologies for investigating stakeholder views, and reports the findings of studies in different parts of England. An important outcome of...

  17. ELEVEN Conclusion
    (pp. 263-274)
    Liz Cairncross and Peter Malpass

    The chapters in this book were originally commissioned for the spring 2005 conference of the Housing Studies Association to mark the anniversaries of two major milestones in housing policy in the UK: the 20th anniversary of the publication of theInquiry into British housing,chaired by the Duke of Edinburgh (NFHA, 1985), and the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Right to Buy. Both of these events have had a significant impact on the development of housing policy in Britain since 1980, influencing the pattern of tenure and subsidy in existence today.

    Looking at the way the housing world...

  18. Index
    (pp. 275-281)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 282-282)