News from the Housing Studies Association and why you should join now

Beth Watts

Dr Beth Watts, Chair of the HSA and Senior Research Fellow, I-SPHERE, Heriot-Watt University

On Wednesday last week, the Housing Studies Association executive met for one of our tri-annual meetings to take forward the work of the learned society. In this blog, I want to update you about our upcoming events, to remind members (and I hope explain to some future members!) some of the advantages of joining the HSA and let you know some of the work we do ‘behind the scenes’ to support housing studies as a discipline and wider housing-related debate.

The HSA committee are busy organising two upcoming events which we look forward to seeing you at.

The first, is our new Autumn Lecture, on 25th October, featuring Lord Bob Kerslake (Chair of Peabody and Chair of the Board of Governors, Sheffield Hallam University) and Professor Ken Gibb (University of Glasgow and Director of the Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence) and sponsored by the Housing Quality Network. Our speakers will be discussing how we can address the UK housing challenge, using the best evidence available to achieve fair outcomes. We could not have foreseen quite how timely this lecture would be, coming as it does as housing is front and centre of the political agenda (admittedly, behind Brexit) in the aftermath Grenfell Tower and an announcement this week that the Westminster government will bring forward a green paper on social housing in England. We look forward to reflecting on these issues with you in Sheffield in just over a month’s time. Tickets are on sale now, with a substantially reduced rate for HSA members (our membership rates are reasonable and you can join here).

Joe Crawford (University of St Andrews) and Tony Manzi (University of Westminster) are busy planning that staple of the HSA calendar – our annual conference in April. The conference will take place on a single-site in Sheffield under the theme Exploring the Relationship between Theory and Practice in Housing Studies, reflecting a key priority for the HSA over the next few years – strengthening our partnerships with housing sector practitioners. Watch this space for news on this, and please do get in touch with us if you would like to discuss ways that the HSA can work more closely with your housing organisation. I can confirm that Joe and Tony have lined up an extremely impressive range of speakers for the conference already – announcements to follow. We are proud to draw a wonderful combination of established names and early career researchers, from both academia and practice, to the conference every year and hope you will join us in 2018.

In addition to planning these events, the committee are hard at work on their usual business of supporting the housing studies community. Here’s a reminder of some of the work we do and the opportunities available to members:

  • Members get reduced rates to all our events, and some other housing sector events with partner organisations;
  • Members can use this very blog as a means to disseminate their own news, research and ideas;
  • We have an event sponsorship programme to support members to disseminate and discuss their work;
  • We provide a number of bursaries to support early career and unfunded housing researchers to attend our annual conference;
  • We are pleased to run the Valerie Karn prize, rewarding the best early career paper at our annual conference (the next deadline will be early next year – get writing!);
  • As a learned society, we nominate fellows to the Academy of Social Sciences. We’re very proud of our illustrious list of existing nominees![1]
  • We will also have a role to play in ensuring that housing studies is well represented in the panels involved in the next Research Excellent Framework exercise.

I’d like to close by welcoming four new members to the HSA committee – Craig Watkins (UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence), Karly Greene (Northern Ireland Housing Executive), Philip Brown (University of Salford) and Ian Wilson (Sheffield Hallam University). Craig and Karly join as co-opted members, who serve to maintain links between academic housing researchers and those working in housing practice. They join our other organisational co-optees – Gavin Smart (CIH) and Brian Robson (JRF). It’s fantastic to welcome Craig as Director of Research of the newly established UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) (another blog introducing you to CaCHE is coming soon!), and Karly to re-establish our long held link with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

That’s all from me for now, but please be in touch with me or other committee members if you’d like to know more or discuss working with HSA to help us achieve our aims, which we know so many of you share.

Beth Watts @BethWatts494

Chair of the Housing Studies Association

September 2017

 

[1] Prof. Suzanne Fitzpatrick; Prof. Kenneth Gibb; Emeritus Prof. Malcolm Harrison; Keith Kirby; Prof. Duncan Maclennan; Prof. Chris Paris; Prof. Susan Smith; Prof. Mark Stephens; Prof. Christine M E Whitehead; and Julia Unwin CBE FAcSS.