• rhumprhrey

Mapping the ontology of housing politics


Richard Humphrey

Director Constructing Professionals Ltd, West Wing, Scots House, West Boldon NE36 0BE

Dr Michael Crilly

Director / Partner Studio UrbanArea LLP, 31-39 High Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EW


One of the dominant trends in housing policy over the last 30 years has been the politicization of social housing through a variety of explicit and tacit control mechanisms, ranging from national to local scale and stakeholders, which is creating an increasingly complex context for effective investments and decision-making within the social housing sector. Perhaps the first step towards addressing these emergent challenges is to recognise and describe the complexity of these political characteristics. In response, the authors have produced a contemporary ontology of the structure of social housing within the UK; mapping the political relationships between the range of legal structures, organisational governance, internal / external scrutiny, public / private funding and the use of assets; to construct a theoretical framework from contemporary practice. This is based on a mix of practitioner reflection, data mining open and closed organisational resources, with verification within professional networks. The resultant practice-based theory describes the trajectory of change within social housing organisations, the political aspects of their structures, and is presented as the basis for future housing policy.

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