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Research – housing

PhD. The geographies of place for tenant participation in housing associations: A case study of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (2016-2019)

This PhD research is in partnership with Merthyr Tydfil Housing Association, exploring tenant participation within the organisation from a geographical perspective. It addresses key issues and challenges from both an organisational and tenant perspective and considers spatial and temporal methods to challenge practice, improve engagement and promote sustainable participation within the organisation.

The importance of participatory working outside of a regulatory agenda and boundary is explored, to evaluate the role of tenant participation in building more effective community development practices.

Much of this research has adopted ideas of co-production. The data is gathered through an ethnographic methodology, working with tenants on facilitated projects to explore the impact of participation on tenants. It draws on two distinctive tenant initiatives: a cooking group and a tenant ‘youth forum’.

The research finds that through these methods of engagement, a number of positive outcomes can be identified across the tenant body, namely: the forging and embedding of social values; empowering tenant groups and sustaining community identity; and enhancing tenant wellbeing.

Related publications: Enhancing Social Values, Community Identity and Wellbeing: The impact of participatory working with housing association tenants. (2018)

Keywords: citizen participation, place, spatial participation, welfare, wellbeing, social housing

Contributed by: Thomas Lambourne, University of South Wales



CaCHE Prioritisation Workshops & Resident Voice Focus Groups (May 2018 – Sept 2018)

CaCHE has established five Knowledge Exchange Hubs across the UK, each bringing together approximately 30 key stakeholders from across the housing system. These hubs were set up initially to support our Prioritisation Workshops (i.e. the mechanism we have used to determine our research priorities for 2019/20). By co-producing our research priorities with stakeholders, we hope to generate research that is more meaningful, accessible and useable, therefore increasing the likelihood of achieving impact. Hub members enjoy further opportunities to engage with emerging CaCHE projects devised to address these priorities.

We also undertook a series of Resident Voice Focus Groups with residents and tenants across the UK, to ascertain their views on the most pressing housing issues and problems.

The results from the Hubs and RVFGs were combined and analysed, resulting in a list of ten new research priorities.

Our approach:

New research priorities:

Regional results:



Northern Ireland:

England North and Midlands:

England South and South West:

Keywords: co-production, citizen participation, prioritisation, citizen voice, knowledge exchange

Contributed by: Gareth James, Gareth Young, Chris Foye, Bob Smith, Joe Frey, UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), University of Glasgow



Housing and Aging: linking strategy to future delivery for Scotland, Wales & England 2030. (2018)

Funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, the project team led workshop events using Serious Game methodology to link the strategic policy priorities of Housing and Ageing together with practice and service user experience. A policy working group brought together ministers, senior policy officers and members of expert groups in Scotland, Wales and England to facilitate analysis of shared policy challenges and priorities. A practice-based working group shared knowledge and experience of delivering strategies in practice. A stakeholder working group of older people considered first-hand experiences of the impact of housing on quality of life.

A final conference event presented findings and analysis of the three working groups to produce co-designed recommendations for the UK governments.

Keywords: ageing, housing, strategic planning, policy, co-design, Serious Games

Event report – Housing and ageing: linking strategy to future delivery for Scotland 2030, Scottish Universities Insight Institute 2018

Contributed by: Jane Robertson, University of Stirling




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