Building Housing Research



Heriot-Watt will play a leading role in the new £6 million Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence, CaCHE.

Professor Mark Stephens, Director of the newly formed Urban Institute, and Professor Chris Leishman (I-SPHERE) will each lead themes within the £6 million centre funded primarily by ESRC, the Economic and Social Research Council, along with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The Centre promises to be a major contributor to knowledge and policy innovation.

Professor Mark Stephens

Professor Leishman will lead the theme on understanding housing markets. This will seek solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing the UK today, the implications of changing tenure patters, and policies to promote housing supply and housing affordability. 

Professor Stephens will lead the theme on the wider impacts of housing policy. This will examine the relationships between housing and poverty, and the ways in which housing policy can mitigate the effects of low incomes. It will build on the research of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Housing and Poverty research programme, to which Heriot-Watt has been a major contributor.

Professor Mark Stephens said, “We are delighted to be part of this initiative. The Centre promises to be a major contributor to knowledge and policy innovation over the coming five years. There are few areas of life that are not affected by housing, and the programme is on a scale that allows a critical mass of knowledge to be built up, and that should have a major impact.”

A vital national institution

The Centre, which is being led by Professor Kenneth Gibb at Glasgow University, will draw together an expert, multi-disciplinary, multi-sector team and serve as a vital national institution, operating across all parts of the UK, sharing learning from regions and countries and establishing and formalising more effective mechanisms for exchanging evidence and learning across devolved jurisdictions. It will be home to leading edge housing research and renown internationally for the quality of its work, and will play a role in synthesising existing evidence, identifying gaps in it and commissioning new research.