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Mixing housing types – good for social well-being?

The impact of mixing housing tenures in socially disadvantaged neighbourhoods is to be examined by a University of St Andrews research team.

The study, funded by a £41,000 grant from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will be led by Dr Joe Doherty, Dr Elspeth Graham, Professor Paul Boyle and Ms Rosemary Hiscock from the Population, Health and Welfare Research Group in the School of Geography and Geosciences.

Tenure diversification (the mixing of owner occupation and social renting in the same residential area) has been adopted by the present government as part of a raft of policy initiatives designed to tackle the problems of social exclusion in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. These initiatives all share the assumption that the promotion of tenure mixing, in areas of social housing suffering from acute social and economic disadvantage, will provide a boost to the local economy and increase the overall levels of social well being of area residents.

Previous assessments of the efficacy of tenure/social mixing have often produced ambiguous results. However, the focus of these studies has been on outcomes and little or no attention has been paid to how issues such as the level of mixing (the relative proportions of owner occupiers and social renters) might impact on outcomes or how the geographic scale of investigation (the size of the community) might influence results and conclusions. Focusing on English housing, it is hoped that the one-year research project, starting on 1 May 2001, will establish a firmer evidence base for the identification of what constitutes successful outcomes from tenure diversification and what circumstances are most likely to lead to those outcomes.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: housing/standrews/chg/4april2001

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