The 2022 Reports
Our Editorial Panel will assess each new report and those that they consider have the greatest chance of influencing policy makers are shown in the Must Read section. The Editorial Panel aims to nominate a dozen Must Read reports each year and those reports that have made way for more highly ranked ones are listed in the Highly Commended section. All other reports and those not yet assessed are included in the Further Reports section. To help increase awareness of this resource, please cite Thinkhouse in work that uses sources found on this site. Statistics and Government papers are collected at the bottom of the page.
Selected by our editorial panel as being the most important publications.
Hitting a brick wall
This briefinf note considers how policy makers could square up to one of the hardest parts of the UK’s transition to a net zero economy: insulating the nation’s homes. Drawing on a new dataset that contains property-level efficiency information for two-thirds of England’s homes, we show that policy makers and the public have ignored the hardest parts of the net zero housing challenge to date: insulating walls. As a result, many assume that improving home efficiency is more straightforward than it is.
Housing allocations and the vacancy chain: how coordinating chains can better meet housing needs and tenant choice
This report is an exploration into the factors influencing vacancy chains in London’s social housing, covering general needs stock held by councils, ALMOs and housing associations, with interplays from supported and specialist housing.
Resilience in the housing system: market institutions from the global financial crisis to covid-19
This is the final report in the CaCHE project, Housing systems, their institutions and their resilience, which seeks to examine the evolution of the housing system between the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the response of two key housing market institutions – mortgage lenders and the housebuilding industry to the pandemic. It covers the period up to March 2022.
Making a house a home: Why policy must focus on the ownership and distribution of housing
This briefing sets out the argument underpinning a new area of work at JRF, around ownership and distribution of homes in the English housing market. It suggests proposals for reform, and highlights areas we want to explore.
Climate Crisis/Housing Crisis: How can social landlords reconcile safety and energy saving?
Social landlords are facing two significant challenges: they must respond to new building safety recommendations and they must improve the energy performance of their stock to meet net-zero targets in response to the climate crisis. These two issues create major budget pressures. In addition, a shortage of social housing means that the stock must be protected in order to continue to provide homes for people in need. This report explores the safety and energy pressures social landlords must meet, and highlights innovative responses to these challenges.
Picked by our editorial panel as important publications.
Road to home: University of Glasgow homelessness initiative scoping study
This scoping report provides information and context about homelessness as a social phenomenon and examine homelessness in Glasgow. Key stakeholders and individuals with lived experience were engaged to outline barriers to eradicating homelessness in the city and identify opportunities for the University to engage its resources to positively contribute to efforts in the field.
Innovations In Social Prescribing: the role of housing
In this report you’ll find examples of good practice and emerging innovation from housing associations and charities across the country, focusing on three topics: Building social prescribing expertise across housing associations, their staff, and volunteers. Housing associations as anchor institutions; how to stimulate and support the provision of new services. Magnifying the voices of older people with housing support needs
Renters on low incomes face a policy black hole: homes for social rent are the answer
This briefing analyses the large number of households on low incomes paying rents they cannot afford in the private rented sector. It provides new analysis on the depth and geographical spread of this problem and examines the Government’s policy response, which is not currently succeeding either in making renting more affordable or in making homeownership accessible to this group. It shows why significantly increasing the supply of homes for social rent is the solution – 90,000 a year for the next 15 years – and sets out the level of investment the Government should commit to at this autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review to deliver them.
Safeguarding Adults: An evaluation into the involvement of Housing Associations in England
At a time of competing commercial pressures, Safeguarding Adults is an activity in which Housing Associations in England are becoming increasingly involved. In December 2020, the Local Government Association published a report presenting the findings of the first thematic analysis of 231 Safeguarding Adult Reviews. It highlighted that the most common location for abuse is in the home, and that the second only to a Care Home setting, the most prevalent type of accommodation of individuals subject to a review is within social housing. Despite this being the case, the work of Social Landlords in this area is largely unrecognised, with only 0.84 per cent of SAR recommendations referencing them, and little formal recognition from Statutory Partners. This paper sets out to understand why this is the case, by drawing on previous research and interviewing housing and Safeguarding practitioners in the current day.
Housing for older people
England’s population is ageing and growing. A safe, accessible, well-maintained, and affordable home in a location that provides access to essential local services and opportunities for social connections is a vital component of a happy and healthy older age and directly related to good planning principles.
Scottish cross-party group on housing – report on rent control
Set against the backdrop of increasing rental unaffordability, rising inflation, higher interest rates and the wider energy cost crisis, the Scottish Government introduced emergency legislation to freeze rents for private and social housing tenants until 31 March 2023. It has also pledged to legislate in this Parliament for a national effective system of rent controls. This report, which was completed just as the Government announced its intention to introduce the emergency legislation, aims to better understand and explore the likely alternative methods of delivering rent control for Scotland.
Understanding landlord behaviour in the private rented sector in the UK
Understanding landlord behaviour and decision making is important for researchers, policy makers and practitioners concerned with how to raise standards in the sector. However, existing research on landlord behaviour has mostly been explored from the perspective of tenants with a focus on its impact, rather than on the causes.Understanding landlord behaviour and decision making is important for researchers, policy makers and practitioners concerned with how to raise standards in the sector. However, existing research on landlord behaviour has mostly been explored from the perspective of tenants with a focus on its impact, rather than on the causes.
Temporary accommodation at crisis point: Frontline perspectives from London and Greater Manchester
This report examines statutory homelessness and temporary accommodation (TA) in London and Greater Manchester. It is a public-policy facing report to shed light on what is currently happening with the supply and demand of TA and to open up a wider discussion around what can be done to improve the situation going forward. It is not intended as an academic or technical comparative analysis of the different boroughs homelessness activities.
The European Coliving Best Practice Guide
Coliving has seen rapid growth in Europe in recent years. Changing socioeconomic conditions, housing affordability, and evolving lifestyle preferences all provide an opportunity for the sector to develop even further. This summary report (the main report is behind the ULI paywall) outlines the opportunities and barriers in the sector and sets out recommendations for industry players.
What do lower income tenants in Scotland’s private rented sector want to see from a new Rented Sector?
This report provides a summary and synthesis of the research project, setting out key findings relating to: the challenges faced by renters, and in particular, lower income renters across Scotland and the recommendations for change co-developed with renters to address these challenges
On Target Protecting vulnerable households from the inflation crisis
This paper proposes a new package of cost of living support, combining effective ‘tax cuts’ for the poorest working households with a highly targeted welfare boost for households on Universal Credit (UC), legacy benefits and pension credit.
Evaluation of the Housing First Pilots
This report provides the latest evidence from the evaluation of the Housing First pilots, building on the previously published first and second interim reports. The pilot programme aims to develop the UK evidence base on delivering Housing First at scale by funding, and robustly evaluating, three pilots in the Greater Manchester, Liverpool and West Midlands combined authority regional areas, with a view to informing future investment decisions.
Train local, work local, stay local: Retrofit, growth, and levelling up
This paper sets out a series of recommendations to address skills bottlenecks and prepare the industry to make a substantial contribution to cutting household energy bills, driving the government’s levelling up strategy, and meeting net zero targets.
Ending rough sleeping for good
Ending rough sleeping for good’ is a cross-government strategy setting out how the government and its partners will work together to deliver on the government’s manifesto commitment to end rough sleeping in this Parliament. It also lays the foundations for long-term system change to end rough sleeping sustainably and for good.
Rent regulation: unpacking the debates
This paper addresses three distinct questions related to rent regulation and the role of evidence. First, what are the drivers of policy change on rent regulation and what role does evidence play in shaping change? Second, what is the nature of the evidence base on rent regulation and the key messages that emerge from it? Third, how is this evidence base transmitted into policy debate? We take the example of the recent UK policy debate to examine this issue.
What creates healthy cities?
With an ever-increasing proportion of the global population residing in densely populated urban environments, it is vital to consider how city design and use impacts the health and wellbeing of residents and the spread and severity of infectious disease outbreaks. The Commission used evidence from global events to inform urbanisation and how existing urban infrastructure and communities can adapt to become more resilient in future outbreaks.
Reaching rural properties, off-grid heating in the transition to net zero.
The UK’s housing stock represents one of the most significant challenges to overcome in achieving net zero emissions by 2050. While measures around new buildings will be important, decarbonising nation’s existing housing stock is a priority for net zero policy, given that 80% of the houses people will be living in by 2050 have already been built today. The task of decarbonising off-grid homes – around four million households across the UK – warrants particular consideration.
An Obstacle Course: Homelessness Assistance and the Right to Housing in England
This report examines law, policy and practice concerning homelessness in England from a human rights perspective and highlights gaps between the UK’s international human rights commitments and its approach to homelessness at the domestic level. It provides an overview of homelessness in England and locates it in the broader context of the country’s housing crisis.
The Right to Own
This report welcomes the Government’s reported commitment to restoring the Right to Buy to the two million housing association households currently denied a chance to own. It also sets out the scale of the discrimination within the benefits system against low-income owners as opposed to working renters.
Rising to the climate change challenge: The role of housing and planning within local councils
Drawing on the findings of a survey sent to all local councils within the UK, policy analysis, a roundtable discussion, and detailed consideration of five case studies, the report highlights that important work is already being undertaken by local councils through their approach to both housing and planning.
Older People from Ethnic Minorities in Kirklees: Housing Needs and Preferences Study
This report aims to better understand how preferences in the ageing ethnic minority population affects housing (and housing related support) needs . The findings will help inform decision making and the delivery of mainstream and specialist housing and support services suited to older people from ethnic minorities now and over the next 5 to 15 years.
Public Participation In Planning In The UK: A review of the literature.
Public participation in planning has extensive social, environmental and economic benefits. This is a review of research since 2010 on participation, engagement and consultation in planning with a focus on the UK, but with lessons applicable to other places. It includes a series of recommendations for a policy and industry audience.
Keeping Communities Together: How smaller social landlords and community-led housing can provide affordable, secure, low cost accommodation for communities in need
This report sets out the potential for small, community-based housing organisations to deliver homes for people in housing need, within their own communities. It uncovers innovative examples and models for how this can be done. The case study section is followed by a discussion, highlighting the unique role of small and community-led housing organisations, the barriers to their development, and recommendations for future policy action.
Maximising health and well-being opportunities for spatial planning in the COVID-19 pandemic recovery
This report looks at the major positive and negative health impacts of housing and spatial planning policies during the COVID-19 pandemic on the population of Wales, learn from these, any positive interventions and co-benefits in order to shape a healthier future environment for all.
Insights into the use of modular housing in addressing homelessness
Modular housing is one of the innovations increasingly used in the homelessness sector to provide temporary accommodation, but there is very limited evidence about the effectiveness of these models, the barriers and facilitators to set them up and operate them, and the experiences of people housed there. This research provides an overview of current modular and container housing provision in the UK.
Net zero ready new build housing: benefits and barriers to delivery
This research investigates how housebuilders in the affordable housing sector can plan effectively for a zero carbon future by exploring the main challenges and opportunities in delivering net zero carbon ready new build housing in their sector.
Urban Dwelling: a Vision for Urban Community-led Housing in Scotland
This report calls for more community-led housing to be developed in Scotland’s urban areas and sets out a Scottish vision for how urban community-led housing can create a more diverse housing sector, building on the proven success of community land ownership, develop community wealth, address vacant and derelict land and strengthen sustainable communities.
This report sought to go beyond the question of what makes a healthy neighbourhood, as the link between the built environment and health is well documented. Instead, it focused on how to create productive collaborations between the health and built environment sectors in order to make healthy neighbourhoods the norm across London.
COVID-19: Housing market impacts and housing policy responses - an international review
This paper looks at the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing and homelessness policy in eight countries. Studying this range of countries gives the opportunity to compare similar jurisdictions with a variety of housing regimes and national governance systems.
Where next for the private rented sector?
This report seeks to understand how the private rented sector might develop in the years to come, on the basis of a nationally representative survey of 1,376 adults in rented accommodation, and modelling of possible future trajectories for the housing market.
Rent control: a review of the evidence base
Rent control has been with us for more than 100 years. It has been controversial and keenly debated ever since, and it remains a critical fault line in housing policy debates. With this in mind, CaCHE decided to undertake a large-scale international evidence review incorporating both economics and wider social sciences literature from 2000 to 2020.
Cultivating Neighbourhoods that Care: A Manifesto for change
This report draws on perspectives and best practice from around the world, and sets out how the housing sector can combat loneliness and mental health issues – among younger and older populations – and ease the associated burden of this on health and social care systems.
Inclusive neighbourhoods - Promoting social inclusion in housing with care and support for older people
Housing with care and support (HCS) schemes are designed to prevent social isolation, promote interaction among residents and help people live independent, healthy lives as they get older. However, not much is known about how these living environments support older residents from social minorities, or how they work to ensure that all residents are equally valued and included. This policy report presents new research evidence on the provision of inclusive housing schemes for older people.
The growth in short-term lettings (England)
The number of short-term lettings in England has increased significantly in recent years, due to the development and growth of the ‘sharing economy’ and ‘peer-to-peer’ accommodation services such as Airbnb. Proponents highlight the benefits of the accommodation sharing economy for consumers, providers and the economy in general. However, concerns have been raised about the negative impacts associated with the rapid growth in short-term lettings and their concentration in certain neighbourhoods.