In divided and cooperative property buildings, the role of the tenant or owner is crucial for the decision making process, especially with regard to the retrofitting of existing buildings. In order to discuss the situation in divided and cooperative buildings in different EU member states, the Estonian Union of Cooperative Housing Associations (EKYL) organised a workshop in Tallinn, Estonia in June 2014. This report highlights the discussions and outcomes from the workshop and study visit and includes a brief description of the presentations by and discussion amongst EKYL’s members, partners and other representatives on nZEB developments in Estonia.
As the first report from a three-year project, this paper attempts to outline the potential scale of the ‘hidden homelessness’ problem, which covers homeless households which don’t receive council support and are not counted in official statistics, and to illustrate the often dire standard of the properties they are forced to live in.
The study demonstrates for the first time the link between real energy bills and a property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the impact on the mortgage market. The study examined the availability of so-called ‘green mortgages in the UK and abroad, which typically offer a financial incentive to encourage homeowners to buy or to work towards greater energy efficiency. But the researchers found no mortgage product that delivers the link between home energy costs and lending amount.
Ways forward to achieving affordable and inclusive housing finance for all: Roles and responsibilities for UN-Habitat partners
This concept note has been published as part of the UN Habitat Global Expert Group Meeting, held in Barcelona on 11-12 December 2014.
Despite the strain that high housing costs cause, millions of people on modest incomes continue to live in high cost areas and are somehow coping. The Resolution Foundation report explores six ‘coping strategies’ – working more, increasing the term of a mortgage, getting help from friends and family, over-crowding, lowering standards and doubling up. It looks at how effective each of these would be in bringing housing costs within reach of three typical families. The effectiveness of each coping strategy depends on family circumstance and varies by household type and geographical area.
David Rudlin was announced as the winner of the 2014 Wolfson Economics Prize on 3 September 2014. David’s submission argues for the near-doubling of up to 40 existing large towns to provide new homes for 150,000 people per town, built over 30-35 years. The entry imagines a fictional town called Uxcester to develop the concept. It argues that expansion of existing towns is the best way to accommodate growth, regenerate town centres, and protect much-loved countryside and the setting of surrounding villages. David argues that there may be as many as 40 cities in England that could be doubled in size in this way, such as Northampton, Norwich, Oxford, Rugby, Reading and Stafford.
This presentation considers the challenges facing housing delivery in the south west of England.
“The Big Society, Localism and Housing Policy” was the theme of a seminar series funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (2012–2014) in the UK. A collaborative venture between the Universities of St Andrews, Sheffield, Reading and Queen’s University Belfast, it brought together academics, policy-makers and practitioners from across the UK to critique contemporary political debates within the context of devolved policy-making in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The papers in this special issue of the journal Housing Theory and Society emerged from that seminar series. Whilst the policy discussions included are very much UK focused, the wider narratives around localism, empowerment, citizenship and welfare reform have a much broader international relevance.
The Local Government Association (LGA) argues that English councils can learn a lot from international experience and innovation on meeting today’s housing challenges. Following a request from the LGA’s People and Places Board a collection of international housing examples from Europe and across the world has been compiled. Housing is a broad field so the research focused on five main themes to reflect the issues facing councils and the lobbying work of the LGA. The five themes are: raising finance to invest in affordable housing; land for building; building quickly; quality of building and quality of life; and making the best use of existing buildings.
A tiny but growing movement is seeking to build and develop new urban neighbourhoods based on sustainable living and mutually supportive communities. This blog considers whether this could this end the isolation associated with the modern era.