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News Archive 2013

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New LSE Housing and Communities Report
Tenant Futures: External Evaluation of the National Communities Resource Centre's Tenant Training Programme

CASEreport 79, August 2013

Evaluator: Eileen Herden

This is the final evaluation of the Tenant Futures training programme, developed and run by the National Communities Resource Centre at Trafford Hall and funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government. The evaluation is the result of an intensive study into community outcomes and impacts, based on feedback from tenant course participants, tenant grant recipients, social landlords, and contracted programme training staff. The analysis is based on 1241 individual participant evaluations, 73 in-depth interviews with tenants, social landlords and trainers, three site visits and five in-depth social impact case studies. The evidence illuminates the impressive level of community activity and personal development the training programme is achieving; and how the impacts are spreading from participants, through action plans, grants and follow-up training, into the wider community.

The report is available to download in pdf format at http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cr/casereport79.pdf

News Posted: 30 October 2013      [Back to the Top]

Launch of new report
New report finds that Money Matters for children's outcomes

Raise household income to improve children’s educational, health and social outcomes

Children in lower-income households do less well in school and have worse health than their better-off peers in part because they are poorer, researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) have found.

While it is well established that children in lower-income households do less well than their more wealthy peers, it has to date been unclear whether low income is itself a cause of lower achievement, or simply correlated with other key factors such as lower parental education. The report, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation today (Tuesday 22 October), finds that low income directly affects measures of a child’s wellbeing and development.

Kerris Cooper and Kitty Stewart from LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) reviewed 34 studies from OECD and European Union countries with strong evidence about whether money affects children’s health, social, behavioural and cognitive outcomes. All the studies use methods that allow researchers to be confident that they are investigating causal relationships, not just associations.

The review found strongest evidence of an income effect in relation to children’s cognitive development and school achievement, followed by their social-behavioural development. Income also affects outcomes indirectly impacting on children, including the home environment, maternal mental health and parenting behaviours such as smoking during pregnancy.

A given sum of money makes significantly more difference to children in low-income than better-income households, the researchers identify. An increase in household income for children in receipt of free school meals (FSM) by £7,000, which would raise them to the average income for the rest of the population, might be expected to eradicate around half the gap in Key Stage 2 outcomes between FSM and non-FSM children, the report states.

Dr Kitty Stewart said: “Many of the studies that met the criteria for our review are from the USA, but the reasons why money appears to matter are likely to apply equally in the UK. One key mechanism relates to the stress and anxiety caused by low income, which makes it more difficult for parents to give children time, attention and positive support. The evidence that income affects rates of maternal depression is an illustration of this mechanism at work.”

Kerris Cooper said: “Protecting households from low income ought to be a central part of Government efforts to promote children’s opportunities and life chances. The impact of increases in income on cognitive outcomes appears to be comparable with the effects identified for spending on early childhood programmes or education. However, income influences many different outcomes at the same time, including maternal mental health and children’s anxiety levels and behaviour. Few other policies are likely to affect such a range of outcomes at once.”

Kerris and Kitty have written a blog about the report for LSE British Politics and Policy blog.

Of the 34 studies, only five found no evidence of a money effect on any of the outcomes examined, and the researchers believe that in four of the cases there are methodological reasons that may have affected the conclusion.

A summary and the full report are available on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website.

Links to related articles on the report BMJ article and the Economic Voice article

 


News Posted: 22 October 2013      [Back to the Top]

Two upcoming events that are being co-hosted by LSE Housing and Communities
An invitation to two events featuring Bruce Katz and his new book The Metropolitan Revolution


Co-hosted by LSE Housing and Communities and CASE

The Metropolitan Revolution

We thought you might be interested in two upcoming events that are being co-hosted by LSE Housing and Communities to mark the launch of Bruce Katz's new book 'The Metropolitan Revolution: Perspectives from US cities'.

Bruce's latest book is the culmination of decades of study of metropolitan areas and describes a revolution that is taking place in America in which cities are reshaping the country's economy and fixing its broken political system. For more information you can visit his website: http://metrorevolution.org/.

The upcoming events include a public lecture on Tuesday 29th October, and a seminar on Wednesday 30th October. See below...




logos

Public Lecture:
The Metropolitan Revolution: Perspectives from US cities

Co-hosted by LSE Housing and Communities and LSE Cities

Bruce Katz (Vice President at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program) will explain how ground-up innovations at a city level are solving the toughest economic problems in the USA, while Anne Power (Professor with the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE) will reflect on the relevance of these developments for UK cities.

Tuesday 29 October 2013 - 18:30 to 20:00pm at the Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE, WC2A 2AE

Free and open to the public, no registration required. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.


CASE

CASE Seminar:
The Metropolitan Review: How cities and metros are fixing our broken politics and fragile economy

Bruce will open up his ideas to a smaller and more concentrated discussion. The seminar will form part of the CASE social exclusion seminar series.

Wednesday 30th October 2013, 16:00 - 17:15pm
Location: 32L 1.04, 1st Floor Conference Room, LSE, 32 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PH

Free and open to the public. Should you wish to attend the seminar, please RSVP to Cheryl Conner at c.j.conner@lse.ac.uk


News Posted: 15 October 2013      [Back to the Top]

LSE and Trafford Hall Housing Plus Think Tank: Welfare Reform and Tenants' Experiences
5th - 6th November 2013


Location: National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, near Chester

Welfare reform is having a dramatic impact on the lives of social housing tenants and Landlords are finding it difficult to help their tenants and to continue to operate both their core and wider services effectively. For tenants the impacts are serious and immediate.
This special Think Tank was aimed at social housing tenants to help understand the reforms and build resilience. We aimed to gather real evidence and share it widely. We are interested in discovering who are the most vulnerable and worst affected tenants, whether there is more that could be done, whether landlords are developing better access routes and more support for tenants as a result of the pressures of welfare reform, and also whether welfare reform is being properly connected to access to work and job opportunities. It is important for tenant voices to be heard, and their experiences are shared.

 


News Posted: 10 October 2013      [Back to the Top]

The Guardian
News Society Housing Chattering classes 'to be priced out of Islington housing market'

An article in the Guardian considers whether the London Borough of Islington is undergoing 'super-gentrification' and pricing out all but the very wealthy.

Prof Anne Power, a London School of Economics housing expert and longtime Islington resident, said: "At the moment, there's no clear evidence that the middle is being forced out of Islington - in fact it is still dominant. But if trends continue as they are, then it will become a different place. It maybe won't become as 'empty' as places like Kensington and Chelsea, but it will become emptier; and that's when a place starts to lose its heart."


News Posted: 03 October 2013      [Back to the Top]

NewStart
Neighbourhood renewal: Learning from Labour's record

Ruth Lupton writes for NewStart in a blog about the interesting findings that despite the widening of overall ioncome inequality the gaps between neighbourhoods narrowed under Labour. The full report can be found here review Labour’s record on neighbourhood renewal in England between 1997-2010.

 


News Posted: 17 September 2013      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities headline findings
The Olympic Legacy one year on

On the one year anniversary of the London Olympics, LSE Housing and Communities launch their headline findings on the Olympic Legacy so far here.

You can read a post from Anne Power about this research at the LSE British Politics and Policy blog.


News Posted: 25 July 2013      [Back to the Top]

Anne Power blogs for LSE British Politics and Policy Blog
Should scarce public and charitable resources be tied up in providing cheap, rented homes for low-income tenants in unaffordably expensive central London?

In connection with our recent report for Octavia Housing on low-cost housing in expensive areas, Anne Power has written a blog for LSE British Politics and Policy.

To read what she has to say, click on this link.

You can find more information on our work for Octavia Housing here.


News Posted: 17 July 2013      [Back to the Top]

Anne Power
Should scarce public and charitable resources be tied up in providing cheap, rented homes for low-income tenants in unaffordably expensive central London?

Anne Power and colleagues recently published a report that explores what it is like to a be a social housing tenant in expensive areas of London and what the benefits of spending scarce resources on low-income families in these areas are. Among other findings, they argue that though cheap social-rented housing contributes to social integration in high-cost areas, adding to this stock will be extremely difficult and it may be necessary to rehouse large, overcrowded families outside the very high pressure areas of central London.

Divided City is a new report published on 10th July by LSE Housing and Communities about the function and value of low-cost, social-rented homes in high cost areas of inner and central London. It explores the role of mixed income, mixed ethnic, mixed education areas in the organic growth of viable communities. It particularly focuses on the role of traditional community-oriented housing associations that operate on a not-for-profit basis play in helping neighbourhoods to function.

Read the full article on the British Politics and Policy at LSE blog.


News Posted: 17 July 2013      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing and Communities launch new report for Octavia Housing
Divided City? The value of mixed communities in expensive neighbourhoods

The London School of Economics and Octavia launched Divided City, a new report looking into the value of mixed communities in expensive neighbourhoods in inner London. LSE Housing and Communities researchers spoke to 50 Octavia tenants in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea from July 2011 to January 2013 asking them about their experiences of their homes and neighbourhoods as well as the impact of welfare reform and concerns for the future.

The LSE report highlights the benefits of strong public services and the value of a secure home and tenancy in a period of wider insecurity and change with residents voicing concerns about welfare reform, public cutbacks, gentrification and rising living costs. The report concludes that low income tenants are not the only residents who benefit from mixed communities.

Read the full report and executive summary


News Posted: 09 July 2013      [Back to the Top]

Assessing Labour's record
Many of the socio-economic outcomes Labour targeted improved, but it did not achieve all of its ambitious vision

With the 2013 Spending Review now behind us and political parties starting to shape up their policies for the next election, Ruth Lupton assesses Labour's social policy record between 1997-2010 and the legacy that it left for the Coalition. After a very detailed review of the evidence, compiled by CASE, we cannot conclude that Labour spent a lot and achieved nothing, nor that its big expansion of public spending before the recession caused the fiscal crisis.

Read the entire article on the British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog

Find out how social policy in the UK has been operating in a 'cold climate' since the financial crash of 2007-8; and read the latest CASE research on how the major economic and political changes in the UK since 2007 have impacted on on the distribution of wealth, poverty, inequality and social mobility.

News Posted: 01 July 2013      [Back to the Top]

Special event
Launch of the Social Policy in a Cold Climate research programme

Social Policy in a Cold Climate

sponsors

Labour's Legacy: UK Social Policy and The Distribution of Economic Outcomes in 2010

The full series of interim reports released on 1st July 2013 can be found here

Watch the recording of the launch event on 1st July 2013

Opinions are very divided over the major, radical, and expensive social policy agenda pursued by the Labour government between 1997 and 2010, and the nature of the legacy Labour left for the Coalition. This event provided robust and authoritative evidence to inform this debate by launching two major new reports:

  • An analysis of Labour’s social policy record in health, education, the early years, neighbourhood renewal, poverty, inequality and cash transfers, covering what the policies were, how much was spent, what we got for the money and what the real impact on people’s lives was as a consequence.
  • An analysis of the distributive effects of the financial crash and recession, showing which groups gained and lost in terms of education, employment, earnings, incomes and wealth in the period from 2007/8 to 2009/10. This updates the work of the National Equality Panel.

Professors Ruth Lupton and John Hills presented key findings, followed by responses from commentators James Kempton (Centre Forum), Matt Oakley (Policy Exchange) and Nick Pearce (IPPR), and an audience discussion.

A new data exploration tool to enable anyone to interrogate the underlying evidence is available at www.casedata.org.uk

Available to view from the launch are presentation slides from John Hills (pdf) and presentation slides from Ruth Lupton (pdf)


This event and these publications will be invaluable to all those seeking in depth, contextualised understanding of social policy over this period. The profound changes to health, benefits, and other social policies being implemented under the Coalition cannot be understood and evaluated without a clear understanding of where they started from - the Labour legacy, and a more considered analysis of what was - and was not - achieved under Labour.

The work is part of the Social Policy in a Cold Climate research programme, which is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nuffield Foundation and Trust for London. The work continues, and a further analysis of what has happened under the Coalition will be published in early 2015. For more details of the programme, please click here or contact Ruth Lupton on r.lupton@lse.ac.uk. All the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of the funders.


News Posted: 14 May 2013      [Back to the Top]

Special event
Launch of new book 'Wealth in the UK: Distribution, Accumulation and Policy'

Watch the recording of the launch event here (presentation slides included)

Chapters from the book are now available at Oxford Scholarship Online

Public policy towards wealth gap 'incoherent and contradictory'

This new book presents findings from a research programme on the distribution of wealth carried out in CASE over the last few years with the support of the Nuffield Foundation and Economic and Social Research Council. It presents new information on wealth inequality and how it has changed, how people accumulate wealth through capital gains and inheritance, and the effects of wealth-holding on life chances. It argues that despite its great importance, public policies towards personal wealth are inconsistent, contradictory and often regressive.

Household wealth in Great Britain amounts £5.5 trillion, even excluding pension rights – four times national income. It is far more unequally distributed than incomes or earnings. Official figures show that the top tenth of households owned 850 times the total wealth of the bottom tenth in 2008-10, if pension rights are added in. The top 1 per cent had 14 per cent of the total - an average of more than £5 million for each household.

Yet the results of a three year research programme presented in a new book by academics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) finds that tax, benefit, care, housing, and education policies are inconsistent and fail to narrow the wealth gap. The research was funded by the Nuffield Foundation with support from the Economic and Social Research Council.

“Looking across tax and social policies, it is hard to discern a consistent pattern for the treatment of wealth and savings,” said Professor John Hills, director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE.

“Our research shows that there are very sharp differences in treatment between people. Some are strongly encouraged and helped by the tax system to accumulate wealth in particular forms, while others face strong disincentives from means-testing to do so. People can even face both at the same time. These systems often reinforce wealth inequalities, rather than narrow them.”

The researchers looked at key issues connected with the distribution of personal wealth in the UK and examined why wealth is now such an important factor in social differences and public policy. Findings in the book include that:

Inheritances are worth about 4 per cent of national income. Each year around one adult in forty receives an inheritance, but these are very unequally distributed. Over the ten years from 1996 to 2005 half of the total went to the top tenth of inheritors, just 2 per cent of all individuals.

The 1995-2005 house price boom favoured mortgagors, those in middle age, and the more highly qualified. Those who were owner-occupiers by 2005 had the largest wealth increases. Increases in net wealth averaged £186,000 (at 2005 prices) for mortgagors who became outright owners, for instance.

Having wealthier parents and having more of one’s own financial assets early in adulthood are both associated with improved outcomes in education, employment and health – outcomes which can themselves lead to further accumulations of wealth, increasing the gaps still further, as well as directly improving quality of life.

The findings reveal a positive association between early asset-holding and subsequent general health and psychological well-being ten or even 20 years later.

“The value of the differences in wealth between the comfortably off - not just the super-rich - and others increased substantially over the last 20 years. It would now take many more years of saving for someone with a middle income to move up the wealth range than in the past, so these wealth differences are becoming cemented in place. Wealth - and access to it through family or inheritance - is of huge importance to people’s life chances. Yet we talk far less about policies towards wealth and what can be done for those with low assets or in debt than we do about income differences,” said Professor Hills.

Sharon Witherspoon, director of the Nuffield Foundation, said: “This is a comprehensive look at wealth, which as the authors show, requires a much broader perspective than is often supposed. This analysis shows how important it is to take a view over the course of people’s lives, and to consider what that is likely to mean for future generations too. It is only by looking at wealth in this way that we can start an informed discussion about how we might make public policy in this area more coherent and consistent.”

Download the main findings from the book here CASEbrief 33 (pdf)

Read John Hills related blog post for the British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog

Read the related article in the Guardian online here

Read the related article in the Telegraph online here

Read the Daily Mail article 'One in ten British households are now virtual millionaires: London property boom and stock market surge drive up value of assets'


News Posted: 08 May 2013      [Back to the Top]

LSE Housing Plus Think Tank
Welfare Reform and Poverty: the next big challenge for social landlords

Tuesday 4th June 2013
National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, near Chester

Chaired by Professor Anne Power, London School of Economics and Liz Richardson, University of Manchester

An open forum led by LSE Housing and Communities to uncover the positive contributions of social landlords and demonstrate their value.

For more information, please see the Think Tank summary and programme as well as the full programme.


News Posted: 19 April 2013      [Back to the Top]

Good measures matter
Ruth Lupton explains why many social policy academics disagree with the governments proposed reforms to measures of child poverty

Good measures matter: the government should stick with the child poverty measure it has got

Ruth Lupton explains why many social policy academics disagree with the governments proposed reforms to measures of child poverty in a for the British Politics and Policy at LSE blog.

She says that for one, the proposals appear to downplay the importance of income. Research shows that income is a key driver of child outcomes. It should be measured in its own right. That doesn’t mean that other things shouldn’t be measured as well – the idea that child poverty is about more than just income has broad support. But combining all the indicators into one measure, as the government proposes, is fraught with difficulty, conceptually and methodologically. Read full blog post here


News Posted: 06 March 2013      [Back to the Top]

British Politics and Policy at LSE Blog
Kitty Stewart and Ludovica Gambaro discuss plans for allowing childcare staff to mind more children

Deregulating ratios without improving qualifications first is a recipe for a more chaotic and less nurturing environment for young children

Ludovica Gambaro and Kitty Stewart argue that the plans for allowing childcare staff to mind more children than currently allowed has merit, although there are significant problems. Their work suggests that there may indeed be potential gains in allowing ratios to rise if this allows for a more highly qualified workforce. However, the proposed qualification level is too low and relaxing ratios will not automatically be passed on to staff in the form of higher wages. Improving qualifications should come before deregulating ratios. Read full blog post here


News Posted: 05 March 2013      [Back to the Top]

Child Poverty Measurement Consultation
CASE response


CASE makes the case for continuing income poverty measures – and a complementary dashboard


The CASE response to the Government’s consultation on the measurement of child poverty was submitted on 15 February. Available here are the summary covering letter and the questionnaire response. At the same time John Hills, CASE Director, was one of the co signatories to a letter to the Guardian, which is feeding into the continuing wider debate and responses. (CASE is not responsible for the content of these external websites)

Ruth Lupton explains why many social policy academics disagree with the governments proposed reforms to measures of child poverty in a blog for British Politics and Policy at LSE.


CASE is working on a range of related projects including Social Policy in a Cold Climate, which is a review of the impact of economic and political change in the UK since 2007 with particular focus on poverty, inequality, and spatial impacts. The first set of papers, covering the impact of the policies of the previous labour administration, are due to be released midyear.
For more details of CASE events and publications, you can subscribe to our newsletter


News Posted: 15 February 2013      [Back to the Top]

Housing Plus Think Tank
Tackling an uncertain future: Are social landlords a problem or solution?

Wednesday 13th February 2013
National Communities Resource Centre, Trafford Hall, near Chester

Chaired by Professor Anne Power, London School of Economics and Liz Richardson, University of Manchester

An open forum led by LSE Housing and Communities to uncover the positive contributions of social landlords and demonstrate their value.

For more information, please see the think tank programme, summary, and Themes from Housing Plus Think Tank.

News Posted: 13 February 2013      [Back to the Top]

Housing Plus
LSE Housing and Communities collaborate with the University of Manchester on new research project.

Housing is high on the policy agenda due to increasing demand for social and other low-cost options, growing inequality between areas, the urgency of reducing energy use and fuel poverty, the shortage of quality affordable renting, and land costs and population pressures.  Current debates on the direction of housing policy focus on freed-up planning, localism and the Big Society, whilst seriously reduced funding streams threaten the core activities of housing providers.  This project will bring together high-level strategic thinkers with ground-level providers and tenants, to work out how current government changes will affect different groups, and to propose an agenda for social housing providers to work through the changes. In a time of resource constraints, public spending cuts, decline in support of affordable housing, and rising poverty and inequality, housing has risen up the political agenda.

The first Think Tank, on Housing and Affordability, will take place at Trafford Hall on Wednesday 13th February, with a dinner and informal debate the night before.

For more information, please see the think tank programme and summary.


News Posted: 13 February 2013      [Back to the Top]