Thinkhouse is an online library of research pieces, policy publications and case studies that propose ways to increase the amount and quality of the UK's housing stock and the related economic, social and community benefits of doing this. The site is curated by an independent panel of experts drawn from across the sector who select the best and most innovative reports for particular attention in our Must Read section. To promote new research and encourage a new generation of experts the panel have created an Early Career Researcher's competition.
For more reports go to our Reports section.
Ways to improve the planning system in the UK
Concluding with 17 recommendations, including the HBA’s long proposed small sites register, the report takes a balanced approach to understanding the barriers SME builders face and why the entire housing supply chain, from planner and policy maker, to builder and resident, will benefit if we can solve the major barriers that face in the planning system.
Improving Compliance in the Private Rented Sectors
Compared to other tenures, private rented homes are more likely to have problems with damp or disrepair and to pose a high threat to health. In response to these challenges, regulation of the UK private rented sector has been significantly restructured and strengthened in recent years. Local authorities are the key regulatory agency, but they face key challenges in applying the legislation in practice. This report presents the findings from an in-depth qualitative research study carried out with 13 local authority areas and key stakeholders from across the UK. It explores how approaches to enforcement are adopted on a local level and provides suggestions for how regulation in the sector could be improved.
Catching up or falling behind? Geographical inequalities in the UK and how they have changed in recent years
The COVID-19 crisis has brought to the fore increasing concerns about inequalities not only between different population groups – such as the gap between the rich and poor, young and old, and different ethnic groups – but also between people living in different places. Even prior to the crisis though, there was a sense that the UK is not only a highly geographically unequal country, but also an increasingly geographically unequal one. Whilst focused on incomes this report does look at housing tenure.
A new era of social rented housing in England?
A key focus of housing policy in recent years has been on the overall supply of housing. There is broad consensus on the need to address the long-term under-supply of housing and various measures have been introduced to stimulate housebuilding. While supporting increases in supply, commentators highlight the need to deliver housing that is genuinely affordable to improve living standards and “loosen the grip of poverty.” This paper considers the case for social rented housing; barriers to its development; and prospects for a step-change in supply. It also provides a statistical picture of trends in social housing supply over time and geographically (including total stock, new supply, and sales and demolitions).
Fifth overview of Housing Exclusion in Europe
According to estimates by the Foundation Abbé Pierre and FEANTSA, some 700,000 people face homelessness every night in the European Union, representing a 70% increase in ten years. However, during the recent health crisis, this number fell sharply thanks to the emergency measures to provide shelter for the most vulnerable among us taken by all European countries. We have now seen that it is possible to end homelessness if we really want to when we have the means to do so!
Housing need and demand assessment: an evaluation and illustrative pilot of the scottish HNDA tool in the context of Northern Ireland
This report was commissioned by the Department for Communities in response to a key recommendation emerging from its Housing Market Symposium that had been tasked with identifying current research and statistical data that would help inform interventions in the housing market to address the undersupply of new housing in Northern Ireland.
Estate renewal in London: an assessment of regeneration induced displacement
This policy briefing reviews the findings of a 33-month ESRC-funded research project which explored the impact of London council estate renewal on those residents being ‘decanted’ from their homes to allow for demolition and redevelopment.
Real estate’s road to net zero carbon
With real estate responsible for almost 40% of energy and process-related emissions, a focus on the building and construction sector is inevitable. Tackling climate change should be at the top of every property owner’s and occupier’s agenda. This report looks around the world at actions that can mitigate climate risks
Consumer rights in the private rented sector
This report concludes that private tenants need greater protection and more power as consumers in the rental market. Tenants should be able to identify bad landlords who flout the rule and have access to homes that they can be confident will be safe, secure and affordable. Private landlords meanwhile must have greater clarity about their obligations.