About Us

The 1980s and 1990s saw significant growth in housing education; in academic research into housing; and in research conducted within a range of statutory, voluntary and private sector housing organisations. Following a successful housing research seminar programme, the Housing Studies Association was established in 1990 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among all those with interests in housing research and education. The Association has become established as the leading independent forum for the promotion of housing studies, embracing the interests of researchers and students across a broad range of organisations and academic disciplines. The HSA is a UK wide organisation with active membership throughout the country and well established international links.


  • to promote the study of housing
  • to bring together researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in housing research and education
  • to encourage the practical application of social research to the field of housing studies
  • to represent the interests of those researching or teaching housing studies in higher education to funding and development organisations, and to government.

How is the HSA run?

The HSA is led by an elected Committee of people who are involved in housing research and education. Each year three members retire and are replaced by postal ballot of membership. All members are eligible to stand for election to the committee.

HSA activities

The association undertakes a range of activities which help to meet its aims:


The HSA holds a conference in the Spring of each year. Conference hosting and organisation is shared among members and research institutions. A broad theme is adopted for each conference and papers are invited from all those in the housing research community. The conferences provide a forum to discuss ongoing or recently completed research methods and findings in a supportive environment. HSA conferences also offer the opportunity to meet informally with fellow researchers and to build links between researchers working in different organisations. Conferences are open to members and non-members but there are substantially reduced charges for HSA members.

Representing researchers’ interests

The HSA has developed an important role in representing the views and interests of the Housing Studies community to other bodies. As well as HEFCE/REF, this includes important research funding organisations such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), as well as government and independent funding agencies. The HSA is a member of the Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences; it also liaises with other learned societies and with professional organisations such as the Chartered Institute of Housing. International links are also well developed, particularly with the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR).

Other benefits

Membership of the HSA carries the option of a subscription to a number of journals at very advantageous rates, the most popular with members being the Housing Studies Journal. Members are also eligible to apply for financial bursaries for events and activities that support and promote housing research, and are encouraged to submit papers for the Valerie Karn Prize (subject to member eligibility). Please see the membership page for further details on how to become a member.

Who should be a member of HSA?

Anyone who is interested in housing studies can join the association and we are keen to recruit members from across the housing studies community and throughout the UK, including:

  • Students of vocational housing courses or those undertaking housing related post-graduate research;
  • Academics with housing research interests;
  • Researchers working in non-academic environments such as local government, the social housing movement, the voluntary sector, private sector housing agencies, government offices and arms-length agencies;
  • Policy makers, practitioners and decision-takers across the housing community who are interested in research and in the application of research to policy and practice

Equality, diversity and inclusion

The Housing Studies Association (HSA) is committed to equality, diversity and actively promotes an open, inclusive culture amongst all our members. You can read our statement on equality, diversity and inclusion here: