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RLA to support new UK Housing Evidence Centre

Tom Simcock
Written by Tom Simcock

A new national housing research centre is being funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF).

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) will be independent from government, and is a collaboration between nine UK Universities and four non-HEI organisations and will have five hubs across the UK in Glasgow, Sheffield, London, Cardiff, and Belfast.

CaCHE will be led by the University of Glasgow and aims to advance knowledge of the housing market, provide robust evidence to inform housing policy and practice across the UK, and will bring together a comprehensive range of stakeholders with the goal of tackling housing problems at a national, devolved, regional, and local level. The RLA provided key support for the bid and will be a non-academic partner of the Centre. The RLA will be supporting the Centre in its research into the private rented sector and the wider housing sector.

The five-year centre will launch on 1st August 2017 and will receive £6 million of funding from the ESRC, with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the AHRC. A further £1.5 million of funding will come from the consortium itself.

CaCHE will focus on the following themes in their research:

  • Housing and the economy
  • Understanding housing markets; demands and need, supply and delivery
  • Housing aspirations, choices and outcomes
  • Housing, poverty, health, education and employment
  • Housing and neighbourhood design, sustainability and place-making
  • Multi-level governance

Professor Ken Gibb, currently Director of Policy Scotland at the University of Glasgow, will be principal investigator and Director of CaCHE said:

“In the UK, housing is one of the main policy challenges facing national and devolved governments. This major new programme will allow policy makers and practitioners across the UK to benefit from the best possible evidence to help them take the robust action needed to tackle chronic housing problems.

“The aim is to use multi-disciplinary expertise to provide relevant and rigorous housing evidence and research to influence and ultimately alter housing policy for the benefit of all.

“I am delighted that the University of Glasgow and our partners will be taking the lead on this incredibly important subject. The serious and complex problems of the housing system are too important to ignore. This is why I’m looking forward to this major new initiative making a serious contribution to tackling one of the most pressing policy problems in the UK today.”

Alan Ward, chairman of the RLA said:

“We congratulate Professor Gibb and the consortium in their successful bid to establish this housing centre. This is a major advance for housing in the UK, is a much-needed resource of independent evidence and research, and, this will be key to supporting policy makers to understand the UK housing market. We look forward to working with them as a non-academic partner.”

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About the author

Tom Simcock

Tom Simcock

Tom is the Research and Information Officer for the RLA. He works hard to understand the issues affecting the PRS and to use our research findings to inform policy decisions.

His expertise lies in researching change in society, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and behavioural and psychological change approaches. His research on the private rented sector and housing has received national media coverage and has been cited by the House of Commons, House of Lords and the London Mayor. For the past 4 years, he has been researching the changing roles of Fire and Rescue Service Employees as part of his PhD research. Tom holds an M.Sc. degree from the University of Manchester, and a B.Sc. degree from the University of Chester.


  • Whatever the Consortium does I hope it doesn’t listen to the views of ‘Professor’ Danny Dorling as he is completely unconcerned with any evidence when he puts forward his views on housing… On a serious note, I think it is essential that housing policy is evidence-based and this looks like a promising development, together with the new review to be conducted by Julie Rugg. It may help to get sanity restored to Government policy.

  • Great news! This is an important development to further improve the quality of evidence based arguments which are neeed to counter balance the all too frequent negative messages generated in mainstream media sources who concentrate on reporting the worse practices of the very small minority of irresponsible landlords that tarnish the PRS and reputations of the vast majority.of responsible landlords.

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