Homes for the future in North East England

New initiatives to deliver decent, affordable homes in appealing communities. A seminar organised by the Institute for Local Governance.

This successful seminar rook place at Teikyo University, Elvet Hill, Durham on 21st June 2019

Since the establishment of the welfare state, good quality housing has been regarded as one of the central pillars of citizenship. And yet definitions of what constitutes ‘good housing’ seem always to be changing. Change can be driven by the confluence of a number of factors including the state of the economy, supply of land and planning policy, performance of the building industry, and government policies etc.

In recent years such factors have led to corners being cut in terms of the size, style and facility of homes. There are also important social and demographic pressures and specific government policies such as welfare reform, which can result in the structure and needs of households changing and transforming patterns of demand. Demand for housing is affected by more than style, structure and facility.

Since the 1980s ‘right to buy’ schemes were introduced, and debates about the efficacy of different forms of tenure in terms of renting, mixed provision, social and private housing have dominated discussions at a policy level. The evidence suggests that demand to buy homes is still strong, but the proportion of households which are able to achieve that aim has fallen, especially amongst the young.

These factors, taken together, have led to the development of a much more complex mix of tenures available to people – but the indications are that the current range of tenures and types of housing in the North East of England is not well matched with current or future likely patterns of demand. This seminar looks at how such a challenge can be met by looking at some of the innovative ways social landlords, the private sector and local authorities are tackling these mis-matches.

The seminar was chaired by Professor John Mawson, Director, Institute for Local Governance.

Speakers will include:

Professor Janice Morphet, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, on the changing landscape in local authority provision of housing

Karen Brown, Senior Policy Advisor, Northern Housing Consortium, on the impact on national housing policy on housing in the North East England.

Richard Horniman, Director of Regeneration, Middlesbrough Council, on the ambitions of MHomes, Middlesbrough Council’s housing company.

Nigel Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Gentoo Group, on adding value to the contribution of social housing providers though new build and improvement of existing stock.

Presentations from the seminar can be downloaded here:

ILG Homes – Janice Morphet – 21st June 2019

ILG Housing – Nigel Wilson 21 June 2019

ILG Housing – Karen Brown 21 June 2019

ILG Housing – Richard Horniman 21 June 2019

The Institute for Local Governance is a North East Research and Knowledge Exchange Partnership established in 2009 comprising the North East region’s Universities, Local Authorities, Police and Fire and Rescue Services. Further information about the content of the event can be obtained by contacting: – or