Since early May a major area of activity for Policy Scotland has been the More Different Futures Housing Network, led by Professor Duncan Maclennan and supported by Dr Sarah Weakley. This network carried on the legacy of Shaping Futures, a collaborative of nonprofits, cities, governments and researchers that recently explored the past consequences of and future possibilities for housing systems and policies in Australia, Britain and Canada.
The COVID-19 crisis and long period of recovery has brought with it challenges for those in all types of tenures (including those experiencing homelessness) and for the sector itself. To address the issues brought about by this crisis in the immediate, medium and long-term in a variety of housing policy areas, new understandings, policies and solutions are needed – discussions that are strengthened by international collaboration.
Online Network meetings
From May until late July Policy Scotland delivered 12 virtual seminars with over 40 international participants in each seminar, reaching around 200 housing policy professionals in academic, non-profit, private, and public sectors across all three countries. Five topics were discussed over five weeks in bilateral meetings between network members in Australia and UK and network members in Canada and UK:
- Homelessness and Urgent Housing Needs
- The Rental Sector: Changes and Challenges
- Paying Mortgages, Housing Market Stability and Tenure Flexibilities
- Housing Markets and Housing Supply: Current Crises and Recovery Strategies
- Making Effective Cases for Housing Investments in Stimulus and Recovery Strategies
The Network also brought together Canadian and Australian members for a special Summit to discuss unique issues common to their contexts (e.g. indigenous housing), and two final Summits.
For each of the five seminar topics one or more academic and/or public sector experts from each country contributed a video for Network members. These 10 to 15-minute videos detailed what they believed were some of the key issues related to that topic in their working context at the time of the video’s production and foregrounded the discussion in each of the seminars.
Videos produced: 14-19 May 2020
Hal Pawson, Professor of Housing Research and Policy and Associate Director at the City Futures Research Centre, UNSW
Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Professor of Housing and Social Policy, Institute for Social Policy, Housing, Environment and Real Estate (I-SPHERE), Heriot-Watt University
Stephen Gaetz, Professor and President of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (Homeless Hub)
Videos produced: 21-26 May 2020
Dr Chris Martin, Senior Research Fellow, City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
Ken Gibb, Director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE)
Videos produced: 28 May - 2 June 2020
Professor Gavin Wood, Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Australia
Professor Mark Stephens, School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, The Urban Institute. Heriot Watt University, Scotland
Will Dunning, housing market analyst, Canada
Videos produced: 11 -16 June 2020
Professor Chris Leishman, Director, Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Adelaide
Dr Tsur Sommerville, Senior Fellow, UBC Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate, University of British Columbia
Videos produced: 18-22 June 2020
Professor Ken Gibb, Director of CaCHE, UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence
Abi Bond, Executive Director – Housing Secretariat at City of Toronto, Canada
Steve Pomeroy, Head of Focus Consulting Inc. and Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for Urban Research and Education (CURE) at Carleton University, Canada
Videos produced: 10 July 2020
Hal Pawson, Professor of Housing Research and Policy and Associate Director at the City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia.
Professor Chris Leishman, Director,Centre for Housing, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Adelaide
Topic review papers
The team at Policy Scotland produced six Topic Review Papers in mid-July which aim to capture the key issues, points of discussion and recommendations discussed at the bilateral meetings on these topics and in the expert videos. They can not only serve as a key source of information on the policy issue as it stands now (July 2020) but also capture where and how Network members believe action on these topics should be taken in the medium to long term.
This Network was made possible by the collaboration with academic colleagues at the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) at the University of Glasgow and Heriot Watt University; the newly emerging Canadian Centre for housing knowledge exchange at McMaster University; and leading research centres in Australia, the City Futures Research Centre at UNSW and at the University of Adelaide. That has been reinforced by key practitioners in Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney, Glasgow and London and, particularly, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in Ottawa and the Community Housing Industry Association in Australia.
Video content reflects the views of the speaker(s) and not the position of Policy Scotland or the University of Glasgow.
Written content is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.
Image credit: JoeGough | iStockphoto