University of St Andrews

CHR host ‘Big Society’ Seminar

Tuesday 18 March 2014

The third and final seminar of the ESRC seminar series The Big Society, Localism and Housing Policy was held at the University of St Andrews on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th March 2014. The seminar was convened by Dr Kim McKee (Principal Investigator of the project) and supported by Dr Tom Moore, and looked at the implications of the big society and localism for the future of social housing.

Themes and topics under discussion included:

  • The role of community-led and cooperative housing alternatives, including perspectives on community land trusts in England (Dr Tom Moore, University of St Andrews), mutual housing in Wales (Keith Edwards, CIH Wales), community-controlled housing associations in the West of Scotland (Dr Colleen Rowan, Glasgow & West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations), and co-operative housing in Austria (Dr Richard Lang, Johannes Kepler University Linz).
  • Localism and socio-spatial exclusion in low-income communities, looking at the legal geography of unaffordable housebuilding (Professor Antonia Layard, University of Bristol) and issues of inter-generational socio-spatial exclusion (Dr David Manley, University of Bristol).
  • The impact of big society on social housing, including David Orr (National Housing Federation) and Keith Dryburgh (Citizens’ Advice Scotland) on the impact of welfare reform, and perspectives from Dr Jenny Muir (Queens University Belfast) on social housing allocations.
  • Financing the big society, featuring Dr Tobias Jung (University of St Andrews) on the role of philanthropy in social housing and Professor Peter Wells (Sheffield Hallam University) on the financialisation of the big society.

The photograph below shows from left to right: Dr Tom Moore (St Andrews), Dr Kim McKee (St Andrews) and Dr Richard Lang (Johannes Kepler University Linz).

 Photo of CHR-Big Society participants

All papers and presentations from the seminar can be downloaded from the project website

The seminar series was composed of three seminars, held in Sheffield, Belfast and St Andrews, and was organised by Dr Kim McKee, Dr Tom Moore, Professor Duncan Maclennan (University of St Andrews), Professor John Flint and Dr Ed Ferrari (University of Sheffield), Dr Jenny Muir (Queens University Belfast), and Professor David Clapham (University of Reading). A thematic report summarising the main findings and observations from all three seminars of the series is currently in preparation.