The Housing Crisis: Experience, Analysis and Response

18th November

Friday 18th November    9.30 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.
Room 101, 30 Russell Square, Birkbeck, London

Refreshments are available in the morning and afternoon breaks.
Please bring your own lunch to eat during the lunchtime film.

This event is free but register here

The colloquium will provide an analysis of the social, economic and political nature of the current housing crisis as it is being lived out within the homes, streets and estates of the UK. This crisis illustrates the contradictory nature of housing within capitalist relations of production, contradictions which have been dramatically illustrated by the US sub-prime mortgage market meltdown and its UK and Irish equivalents; in each country, housing finance has been centrally implicated in the wider turmoil. In the UK, the social after-shocks of such crises are currently being felt by the unwitting victims of the Coalition Government’s radical policy changes in relation to Housing Benefit and social housing as part of its ‘Big Society’ vision. The colloquium examines the nature of the UK housing crisis including how the growing problems of housing unaffordability and insecurity are being lived out with, for example, five million people on council housing waiting lists in England. The colloquium also highlights various responses to the housing crisis and the Coalition Government’s policies that have emerged from civil society and local government.

Provisional programme

9.30 – 10.00 Coffee and Welcome

10.00 – 11.40 ‘The financial crisis and housing in the UK’ – Graham Turner (GFC Economics)

Title to be confirmed – Dr. Michael Edwards (University College London)

‘Understanding the Con-Dem’s assault on housing’ – Dr. Stuart Hodkinson (University of Leeds)

11.40 – 12.00   Tea/coffee

12.00 – 1.15 ‘Mobility and security in mixed housing tenure: findings from an audio-visual ethnographic study of housing and class in an inner London

locality’ – Debbie Humphry (University of Sussex)

‘Gypsies and Travellers in housing: adaptation, resistance and the reformulation of communities’ – Dr. David Smith (University of Greenwich) and Dr. Margaret Greenfields (Buckingham New University)

1.15 – 2.30  Lunch

Film screening: Chocolate City (Ellie Walton and Sam Wild, 2007)  – public housing and gentrification in Washington DC

2.30 – 3.20  ‘Tower Hamlets response to the housing crisis’ – Cllr. Rabina Khan (Cabinet Member for Housing, London Borough of Tower Hamlets)

‘The London housing crisis and the Pro-Housing Alliance’ – Professor Peter Ambrose (University of Brighton)

3.20 – 3.40 Tea/coffee

3.40 – 5.00 ‘Towards a new strategy for housing: there is an alternative’ – Duncan Bowie (University of Westminster)

‘Good homes: lessons in successful public housing’ – Dr. Sarah Glynn (Independent Researcher)

Launching a new online intellectual resource for resistance: ‘The Housing Question’ web project

5.00 – 5.30 Final discussion and close

If you have any queries, please contact Dr. Paul Watt, Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, Birkbeck

Organising Committee:

• Dr. Paul Watt
Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies
Birkbeck, University of London

• Dr. Isabelle Fremeaux
Department of Media and Cultural Studies
Birkbeck, University of London

• Glyn Robbins
Department of Social Policy and Education,
Birkbeck, University of London

• Dr. Stuart Hodkinson
Department of Geography
University of Leeds

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