The Big Society, Localism & Housing Policy

ESRC funded Seminar Series, 2013-14

Seminar 2: Belfast, 24-25 October 2013

Localism, Welfare Reform and Tenure Restructuring in the UK

Convenor: Dr Jenny Muir, Queen’s University Belfast


Venue: The Old Staff Common Room, Lanyon Building, Queen’s University. 



This seminar aimed to trace the extent of connections between the policy and practice of localism, the ongoing practice of welfare reform including the meeting of housing costs by the state, and the implications of both for access to housing and a potential change in tenure balance across the UK. Key questions addressed by the seminar included:

  • What do the concepts of localism, the ‘big society’ and the ‘broken society’ analysis imply for the future of the UK welfare state and citizenship?
  • What will be the impact of welfare reform on the ability of low-income groups to access and remain in social housing?
  • Will the proposed planning reforms in different parts of the UK affect housing supply, and if so how?
  • As a consequence of the above, might the combination of localism and welfare reform result in a change in the tenure balance across the UK and would there be any differences between the four jurisdictions? Would these changes be particularly detrimental to poorer households?

The full programme for the event  can be downloaded by clicking here: Final programme for Localism, Welfare Reform and Tenure Restructuring. The final report from this seminar is available from the Publications page.


The following papers were presented at the conference. Where presentations and papers are available for download, this is indicated and they are available in either MS Word, PDF or Powerpoint.


If you have difficulty with the downloads  please contact Dr Tom MoorePlease note that permission to cite this material should be obtained directly from individual authors.


Thursday 24 October 2013


  • John Flint (University of Sheffield): Broken Britain, the Big Society and implications for housing policy, PRESENTATION
  • Ed Ferrari (University of Sheffield): Housing markets, housing policy and localism in England, PRESENTATION
  • David Hulchanski (University of Toronto): The social impact of changing housing policies, PRESENTATION
  • Rebecca Tunstall (University of York): The Big Society: implications for low-income neighbourhoods, PRESENTATION
  • Paul Hickman and Chris Dayson (Sheffield Hallam University): Community resilience, welfare reform and the Big Society in Northern Ireland


Friday 25 October 2013


  • Greg Lloyd (University of Ulster): Planning in the Celtic areas, PRESENTATION
  • Andy Inch (University of Sheffield): Planning and the new localism in England, PRESENTATION
  • John McPeake (Northern Ireland Housing Executive): The impact of policy change on the housing system in one UK jurisdiction, PRESENTATION
  • David Robinson (Sheffield Hallam University): Social housing and the Coalition Government; Catching up on Conditionality, PRESENTATION
  • Mary Taylor (Scottish Federation of Housing Associations): Housing associations and welfare reform, PRESENTATION