Ken Gibb: Despite the challenges, 2021 has been another productive year
Professor Ken Gibb, the director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), shares his highlights of the last 12 months
2021 has been the second year of Covid-19 and regrettably, 2022, among other things, will be the third year. Despite the considerable background noise and interruptions to normal service, it has still been a productive and rewarding year for the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE). I am very grateful to all of my colleagues in Glasgow, Sheffield, and across the UK who did so much to promote housing evidence through research, publications, social media, events, and a wide range of other activities.
Looking back across 2021, there are many highlights, including:
- A continuing stream of Covid-19 research projects, including on homelessness, private renting, domestic abuse, and the remarkable UKRI study on landlords and rent arrears led by Andrew Watson.
- TDSF research on private renting, health and well-being
- Research for the Good Home Inquiry on housing policy and poor quality homes
- The launch of our equality, diversity and inclusion initiative
- Dr Jenny Preece’s impressive work on the leasehold cladding scandal and the building safety crisis
- The evidence that contributed to a new intermediate tenure being developed in Northern Ireland
- Our work on retrofit, tenements, and also on air source heat pumps, which we had the opportunity to tell people about during COP 26.
- An evidence review on high rise residential development that paved the way for an ESRC research bid
- Our evidence programme for governments during the Welsh and Scottish elections
CaCHE also embarked on a final set of internal projects. These included work on housing allocations, anticipatory governance, housing and the Belfast-Dublin corridor, ethnic inequalities and housing, new home design post-occupancy survey, cladding and wellbeing, and a study of housing experiences of Romanian migrants to the UK.
During 2021 we also had a number of staff changes. Dr Chris Foye left us to take up a lectureship at the University of Reading, Lynsay Cooper completed a maternity cover year before taking on a communications role in the Scottish Police, and Dr Bilge Serin has announced that she will be joining Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow as a lecturer in 2022. In addition to saying farewell to colleagues, we’ve also welcomed people to CaCHE. Dr Garret Grainger has joined the research team, Dr Yoric Irving-Clarke assisted us with knowledge exchange work before he took up his new role with Midland Heart, and we welcomed back Claire Martin who has returned after maternity leave. We wish those who moved on well and welcome our new (and returning) colleagues.
We’re now entering our fifth year and have recently submitted a bid for further core funding. We are very grateful to everyone who has helped and supported the development of that proposal. Additionally, we have several new externally-funded projects in the pipeline. The new year is going to be a busy one, and hopefully a little more normal too. Best wishes when it comes.
This article was originally published on the CaCHE website.