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The housing crisis in England: seeing the wood for the trees

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posted on 2023-08-30, 20:21 authored by Catherine Guelbert-Thick
This thesis tests the perception of a housing crisis in England, to assess the extent to which housing policy since 1993 has impacted on the provision of more housing and to explore the idea that effective strategic leadership might be a factor in addressing housing issues. The research was conducted within the positivist paradigm and explored 3 propositions using mixed methods and utilising Tableau and Nvivo software packages and the Delphi survey method. Analysis of each proposition was effected using triangulation, and a specific tool was developed to assist with the framing of the analysis. The research demonstrates that there is no case for suggesting that there is a housing crisis in England because the features of the problem do not meet the criteria of a crisis. However, the housing problem has all the features of a Wicked Problem. The research shows that policy since 1993 has had no direct impact on the provision of new build housing, although the relationship between populations, dwelling and average occupancy all indicate sufficient provision and a reduction in average occupancy. The thesis finds that leadership demonstrated by actors and agencies in housing represent autocratic, bureaucratic behaviours with few examples of democratic, transformational or innovative styles. Research into the relationship between strategic leadership and housing is scant and worthy of further investment. The thesis develops an evolving theorem that takes the housing problem outside of the crisis domain and places it within the construct of a Wicked Problem. This research will be of interest to policy makers, the construction and development industry, the social housing sector and academia.



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