The Urban Housing Experience in the Age of Austerity

Academic Lead – Dr Stuart Hodkinson – (Leeds) 

The project  will explore the changing social, spatial and institutional contours

of the urban housing experience in an age of austerity. It responds to an urgent need for critical
understandings of the dynamic, complex and contradictory interactions between the ongoing global
financial crisis, housing systems and state responses such as the UK Coalition Government’s programme of
public spending cuts, welfare reform, and housing re-privatisation.

The focus is timely and relevant given its international significance and the apparent disjuncture between government discourses of fairness (‘we are all in this together’) and evidence of mounting housing insecurity and involuntary mobility for specific socio-economic groups and regions, potentially transforming the very nature of urban life.

The three PhD projects each focus on a specific but complementary thematic issue and scale of urban housing experience. The empirical rootedness in northern English cities will highlight differences between localities, and offer potential for comparative work within the UK and internationally.

They are:

1. People, place and well-being: identifying the incidence and social, economic and neighbourhood effects
of involuntary home moves
2. City living and social class: the impact of welfare reform and housing re-privatisation on class and tenure
mix in central urban areas
3. Governing vulnerability in a time of austerity: the private provision of temporary and permanent
accommodation for homeless people

The overall aim of the network is to understand the trajectories, forces and experiences involved in current
changes to housing tenure, places and welfare, and their implications for governance and policy.

This network is awarded as part of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership in Social Science