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HSA Conference 2019 – SAVE THE DATE

10 April 2019 - 12 April 2019

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The HSA 2019 conference will once again be held in Sheffield and we look forward to building on the success of our 2018 event by welcoming academics, practitioners and policymakers to share knowledge, discuss, debate and network. Further details and the call for papers will be announced in due course but for now please put the date in your diaries. HSA members will receive a conference discount; click here for details on how you or your organisation can become a member.

Home Struggles: Politics, Marginality and Resistance in the Contest for Housing

Housing has always been a site of struggle, from the individual and household level to competing ideas over the direction of national and international policy.  Yet the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/8 and continuing austerity have brought the struggle for home into even sharper relief, with negative outcomes (gendered and classed) accentuated by longer-term processes such as housing commodification and financialisation.  Housing is centrally implicated in the ongoing retraction of welfare support – homelessness, eviction and displacement increasingly characterise the housing experiences of those at the margins, where migrant communities and young people are over-represented.  This has given rise to new, and often innovative and collective, responses in the struggle for home, such as a rise in ‘housing informality’ (more readily associated with the ‘Global South’), as well as increases in squatting, housing co-operatives, eco-homes, pop-up housing and community land trusts, which are accompanied by a burgeoning housing activism and new solidarities.  Yet, at the other end of the scale, there is a struggle over urban space, expressed through opposition to social housing renewal, gentrification and the privatisation of space through gated communities and secluded landscapes of privilege.

Between these two poles, many households face a range of dampened aspirations, longer stays in the parental home, insecurity in the private rented sector, and increasing anxiety over finding and maintaining a place to call home.  Older households in more comfortable positions are increasingly supporting their children to secure and maintain a foothold in an increasingly competitive housing market, which reproduces broader social and intergenerational inequalities through the transfer of housing wealth.  While for some EU migrants, uncertainty over Brexit adds to this insecurity and reshapes the very meaning of the struggle for home to questions of citizenship and national belonging.  At a higher level, the struggle for home is expressed through competing national policy discourses on: the role of the planning system and affordable housing delivery; ideological battles over housing as a tool of welfare ‘reform’ or social assistance; asset-based welfare; and wider international struggles over housing as home versus housing as real estate.  The outcomes of these struggles all impinge on policy and upon housing associations, developers, charities, private landlords and housing practitioners.

This conference seeks to reappraise the struggle for home in the contemporary period in capturing the shifting dynamics of the housing system, changing policy logics, the implications for specific groups and households, and the new and varied responses to these challenges.  We welcome empirical, theoretical, policy, practice and activist contributions, be they historical or contemporary in focus, which speak to the notion of housing struggles and the battle for home at a range of scales.  From the individual and household level through to neighbourhood, regional, national and international contestations; and from material and everyday experiences and practices to the symbolic level of discourse, involving the (mis)representation of housing struggles, (mis)diagnosis of problems and the normalisation of housing precarity.

If you have any questions about this event please email members@housing-studies-association.org or contact one of the conference organisers: Jenny Hoolachan (HoolachanJ@cardiff.ac.uk) and Ryan Powell (r.s.powell@sheffield.ac.uk)


10 April 2019
12 April 2019
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