Module SXP-3210:
Issues in Housing

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Hefin Gwilym

Overall aims and purpose

**PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MODULE IS SUBJECT TO VALIDATION**

This module provides an overview of housing provision in Britain, and an introduction to current issues and debates. It includes an element of comparative study of continental and Anglophone systems. It will include a discussion of:

  1. Housing tenures - what is the division between owner-occupied and rented housing? How does this compare with Continental Europe? How can any differences be explained? What are the issues relating to each sector?

  2. Housing standards - what is ‘satisfactory’ housing? Is there is a ‘housing surplus’?

  3. Housing finance - how do we pay for the housing we need? What are the problems of the existing structure of finance?

  4. Housing inequalities - what are the dimensions of housing inequality? Why do we have a problem of homelessness?

It will also focus on the provision and management of ‘socially rented housing’ by local authorities, housing associations and other ‘not-for-profit’ landlords can raise some fundamental issues about ‘welfare’ provision. This module aims to discuss these, and explain the context in which housing management decisions are reached. Topics will include:

  1. Providing the housing - how Government policy determines the social housing stock and by whom it is provided

  2. Selecting the tenants - who determines, and who deserves, priority for the keys to socially rented housing?

  3. Managing the tenants - rent arrears, bad neighbours and racial harassment. Housing management and tenant involvement.

  4. Homelessness responsibilities - how are homeless persons treated?

  5. Hard-to-let housing - how can estates with a poor reputation be rehabilitated, and how can the problem be prevented in the first instance?

Course content

This module introduces students to some of the key current issues in housing policy, concentrating on the three key areas of quantity, quality and affordability. It examines the factors affecting the supply of, and demand for, housing, and explores the characteristics of the different tenures people may experience during their housing careers, looking at contemporary issues in each housing tenure. The module will also examine housing standards, and the policies for maintaining housing quality, together issues of housing finance. It will explore the managerial context of social rented housing which has undergone considerable change both governmentally [through devolution] and administratively [through a changing mix of local authorities, housing associations and other social rented housing agencies].

Assessment Criteria

threshold

ESSAY: A basic understanding [possibly with some omissions] of the key issues in British housing policy in the areas of quantity, quality and affordability, and continental comparators. Some knowledge of the different tenures and tenure change during the twentieth century, and some knowledge of the underlying causes of these changes. EXAM: A basic understanding of the administrative context of social rented housing. Some understanding of issues relating to tenant selection. Able to describe some of the strategies for dealing with difficult and 'non-traditional' tenants. Able to use some theoretical and/or comparative material as appropriate.

good

ESSAY: A good understanding of the key issues in British housing policy in the areas of quantity, quality and affordability, and a good knowledge of continental comparators. A good knowledge of the different tenures and tenure change during the twentieth century, and an ability to analyse the relative importance of the underlying causes of these changes. EXAM: A clear understanding of the administrative context of social rented housing. A good understanding of issues relating to tenant selection. An ability to describe and analyse most, if not all of the strategies for dealing with difficult and 'non-traditional' tenants. Able to fully integrate theoretical and/or comparative material as appropriate.

excellent

ESSAY: A comprehensive understanding of the key issues in British housing policy in the areas of quantity, quality and affordability, and an ability to discuss the differences with continental comparators. An excellent knowledge of the different tenures and tenure change during the twentieth century, and an ability to critically analyse the relative importance of the underlying causes of these changes EXAM: A comprehensive understanding of the administrative and historical context of social rented housing. A complete understanding of issues relating to tenant selection. An ability to critically analyse most, if not all of the strategies for dealing with difficult and 'non-traditional' tenants. Able to fully integrate theoretical and/or comparative material in a critical policy analysis.

Learning outcomes

  1. Show a knowledge of the concept of satisfactory housing, and be able to discuss critically policies towards this objective.

  2. Identify and discuss critically the key issues in each housing tenure.

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the reasons for the tenure pattern of housing in England and Wales, and how other countries may differ

  4. Be familiar with problems of housing management and current practices.

  5. Critically evaluate debates about the difficulty in letting some social housing units.

  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of social housing management and its historical change.

  7. Understand the financing of housing, and the inter-relationship between finance systems and tenure patterns.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
2.500 word essay (s1) 50
Exam 2 hours (s1) 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
 

This course is taught by a combination of weekly lectures and fortnightly seminars. The seminars will enable students to examine further different housing tenure systems, housing standards and housing stress indicators in comparative context. As well as key housing management issues in the social sector, including homelessness, tenant behaviour, and issues of poor quality housing stock.

 
Lecture

This course is taught by a combination of weekly lectures and seminars. The seminars will enable students to examine further different housing tenure systems, housing standards and housing stress indicators in comparative context. As well as key housing management issues in the social sector, including homelessness, tenant behaviour, and issues of poor quality housing stock.

200

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: