Later this month, as part of the 2019 London Festival of Architecture, we are hosting a debate to explore the boundaries of home ownership to find a pathway to more appropriate housing: Rethinking Ownership.
What alternative tenures could exist if secure, stable, adaptable, sociable and economically sustainable housing was the goal? The prize is the restoration of design value and a pathway to better housing outcomes in an age of financialisation.
The housing crisis - we're told a shortage - masks a crisis in housing distribution, where ownership marks the boundary. On one side of this boundary are renting households who enjoy a freedom of mobility denied to owner-occupiers. On the other side, owners can enjoy a leveraged bet on the housing market without the risk of eviction.
But what if the pressure to own is the very thing that rinses design value from our housing? Consumers will compromise on quality and space just to own any home but as their housing needs change in predictable ways, so the user costs of moving can create a welfare trap characterised by small, lonely, inflexible or overheating homes.
The event, taking place on 25th June, will be chaired by Cullinan Studio's Philip Graham, who is convinced that good housing is vital for social equality, national productivity, political and climate stabilty. He is undertaking a PhD at the University of Reading to work out why our UK institutions trap families and new homeowners in sub-optimal homes. You can read more about his current research in a recent article he wrote for the RIBA Journal: 'How to solve the housing crisis'.
The event speakers include:
- Stephen Ashworth - Partner and legal and planning adviser on major development regeneration at Dentons
- Yolande Barnes - Chair of the Bartlett Real Estate Institute
- Dr Chris Foye - Knowledge Exchange Associate at CaCHE