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HEIF 4 2011: Private Renting Sector in the UK

Private renting is an increasingly important part of the UK's housing system. The owner-occupation rate has begun to fall after decades of growth, as access to home ownership remains too expensive for many households. Yet Buy to Let has also been adversely affected by aspects of the financial crisis and the sector as a whole remains highly dependent on government through housing allowances. Private renting may have to substitute for a significant part of the owner-occupied sector for years to come and may provide a better option for many households. On the other hand social housing is moving towards an 'affordable rents' regime which in some cases may compete for similar households—what changes in policy and culture will be required? Housing policy has long focused on increasing the role of institutional investors and providing a wider range of tenure relationships than those traditionally offered by individual landlords, but so far major changes have not been achieved. Given the consequences of the financial crisis and last year's change of government, his was a useful time to bring together existing knowledge about the private rented sector and what might work for the future, and in particular to look at the lessons that can be learned from other countries.

This HEIF 4 series of workshops, international conference and edited publication focused on the lessons the UK can learn from those countries where the private rented sector houses a larger percentage of households and about how to achieve and maintain a sustainable PRS. Available documents from our archives are linked below:



9 September 2011

Towards a sustainable private rented sector: the lessons from other countries



14 April 2011

Workshop 1: The Revival of Private Renting in the UK/  England's Private Rented Sector: Lessons from Abroad

2 June 2011

Workshop 2: The Revival of Private Renting in the UK/  England's Private Rented Sector: Lessons from Abroad

International Conference

11-12 July 2011

Workshop 3: The Private Rented Sector in the UK: bringing together ideas from across and beyond Europe


5 October 2011

Seminar & book launch: Towards a sustainable private rented sector: lessons from abroad

HEIF 4 2010-11 Series: London in the New Economic and Political Environment

London in the New Economic and Political Environment is the fifth in a series of projects funded by  the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF IV). Like past years, this event and publiacation-based programme addreses relevant issues pertaining to London and contributes to policy, analysis and practice by incorporating and disseminating feedback from key London actors from the academic and private and public sectors.

This year's seminars and workshops will concentrate on London's sustainability, in economic, financial and environmental terms, in the new economic environment. They will maintain and extend their well-defined role in facilitating research output, knowledge transfer and in helping to inform and shape current debates. They will develop a comparative perspective through collaborations with LSE's Spatial and Economics Research Centre (SERC) and LSE Cities, as well as internationally with Science Po. 

This year's project will also produce a number of research briefs on topics such as

  • governance issues in the light of national and local election results;
  • public expenditure in London;
  • the new London housing allocations;
  • aspects of the new London Plan and the implications of the Transport Plan.



September 2011

Kochan, B. & Scanlon, K. Towards a sustainable private rented sector: lessons from abroad.


June 2011

Whitehead, C.M.E., & Travers, T. The case for investing in London's affordable housing.  

Briefing papers

7 December 2011

2011 Autumn Briefing paper series



5 October 2011

Seminar & book launch: Towards a sustainable private rented sector: lessons from abroad

30 June 2011

The Big (suburban) Society- community, identity and amenity in outer london with Centre for London, Demos

22 March 2011

Immigration and the London economy

16 March 2011

Poverty and Inequality in London: What difference will the Coalition's social policies make?  with CASE

28 January 2011

Cooperative Manchester- Complex London? Evolving City Governance


27 June 2011

Investing in London's affordable housing
with g15, GLA

HEIF 4 Seminars: 2009-2010

This series of seminars was sponsored by Higher Education & Innovation Fund (HEIF) 4. The seminars explore various themes including:

  • How to govern London
  • Government spending review, or austerity
  • Economic scenario for London's future
  • Mayor's draft of London Plan
  • Social housing
  • London's public services

Below are documents available from our archive:



October 2010

Scanlon, K. & Kochan, London in austerity: a review of housing, planning, and public policy issues in 2010.

Background papers

October 2010

Gordon, I. Scenarios and Planning for Alternative London Futures- or Making a Drama out of a Strategy. In London in austerity: a review of housing, planning, and public policy issues in 2010.

Travers, T. & Whitehead, C.M.E. A Mayor and Assembly for London: 10 Years on. In London in austerity: a review of housing, planning, and public policy issues in 2010.

February 2010

Government Office for London. Transforming London's Public Service.

Whitehead, C.M.E., Travers, T., Gordon, I., & Scanlon, K. Social housing in London.

December 2009

Gordon, I., Holman, N., Travers, T., & Whitehead, C.M.E. The Draft Replacement London Plan: how much of a change?

Podcast recordings

4 November 2010

Coping with austerity: London after October 20th

  • Chair Introduction: Tony Travers, LSE
    Available as: mp3 ( 12.05 minutes)
  • Speaker: John O'Brien, London Councils
    Available as: mp3 ( 13.55 minutes)
  • Speaker: Michael Edwards, UCL
    Available as: mp3 ( 13.02 minutes)
  • Speaker: Christine Whitehead, LSE
    Available as: mp3 ( 10.25 minutes)
  • Speaker: Kath Scanlon, LSE London
    Available as: mp3 ( 11.43 minutes)
  • Questions & Debate 
    Available as: mp3 ( 19.48 minutes)



4 November 2010

Coping with austerity: London after October 20th


29 October 2010

London's Future: a scenario approach 

2 July 2010

A Mayor and Assembly for London: 10 years on 

2 March 2010

Transforming London's public services 


  • National Perspective Smarter Government
    Helen Bailey, HM Treasury
  • External Perspectives: Transforming London's Public Services 
    Robert Gordon Clark, London Communications Agency
  • London Councils' Priorities 
    John O'Brien, London Councils: 

19 February 2010

The future of social housing in London


HEIF 3 Seminars: 2008-09

London Development Workshops III is the third in a series of workshops partially funded by  the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF).  Following the successful format of previous years, this round will continue to bring together key London actors in order to address relevant issues pertaining to London's governance and its social and economic development.

The workshops will explore both broad issues such as the relationship between London and the broader South East and London's Place in the UK economy.  It will also concentrate on emerging issues arising from the current economic crisis - notably how local authorities can better support London's economy; the role of the LDA; home ownership options; and the private and public financing of social housing.



4 December 2008

Scanlon, K. & Whitehead, C.M.E. Social Housing II: A review of national and EU policies and outcomes.



10 June 2009

The Greater South-East: London's super region

27 May 2009

London in recession: the impact of the downturn on the capital

4 March 2009

Looking Back - Looking Forward: Private Finance for Social Housing

18 February 2009

Conditions for Recovery- Prospects for Growth

29 January 2009

Low Cost Home Ownership and the Credit Crunch

4 December 2008

Social housing futures: European experience and lessons for the UK

HEIF 2 Seminars: 2006-2008 Series

Over the coming year, workshops will be held at examining migration, the recent local government; housing and transport reviews; London's government; policing; and a comparative analysis of the London and Paris economies.



4 July 2008

Greater London: 50 years of reform and government

23 June 2008

Roundtable on Paris: London economies and their governance

15 April 2008

The Thames Gateway: building a new city within an old one?

14 November 2007

Migration and the London economy

18 October 2007

The role of social housing in the London economy

  • Social housing's current role in London 
    Christine Whitehead
  • Implications of the Hills report on the future roles of social housing for London
    John Hills
  • Lessons from Europe for social housing in London 
    Kath Scanlon
  • The role of social housing in London - a GLA view 
    Alan Benson
  • The role of social housing - a provider's view
    June Barnes
  • The role of social housing - a local authority view 
    David Woods
  •  The role of social housing - lessons from the Westminster Commission
    Lord Richard Best

31 May 2007

GLC to the GLA: 40 years of London Government

11 December 2006

London: bigger and better?

HEIF 1 Seminars: 2005-2006 Series

The project consists of a series of conferences, workshops and seminars designed to bring together stakeholders in key debates on London's economic, political and social development. 

Using LSE's research strengths, extensive networks and reputation for contributing to robust public policy, London development workshops will operate to transfer knowledge and expertise from universities across the UK at the point where policy formation, economic development and business activity converge around particular issues. 

Over the coming year, workshops will be held at LSE on London's housing, governance, demography, transport, education, media and economy.



27 July 2006

The GLA Review and London Government- the government's proposals for reform

  • 'Tilting the balance? The government's final proposal for the Mayor and Assembly'
    Tony Travers
  • The Government's Proposals for Additional Powers for the Mayor of London and London Assembly 
    Andrew Campbell
  • The New Government of London
    Tony Travers

30 June 2006

How far must, or should, economic growth in London be centralised?

29 June 2006

London and the Media

  • London in the Media, by Tony Travers 

19 June 2006

LSE London Density Debate

  • The Land Fetish, a suitable case for Dr Freud? 
    Prof Sir Peter Hall
  • Professor Anne Power 
  • Professor Christine Whitehead 
  • A case for density? Well maybe 
    Michael Edwards
  • 'Density, a debate about the best way to house a growing population' Paper by LSE London 

21 April 2006

Race and Community Relations in Contemporary London

  • Race, Immigration and Community Relations in Contemporary London 
    Tony Travers and Ian Gordon
  • The far-right in London 
    Helen Margetts
  • Economic Impacts of Recent Migration to London 
    Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

14 February 2006

The Barker Review and London

20 December 2005

Roundtable on Funding Transport Projects in London

26 October 2005

The London Conference

  • Key issues for London governance by Tony Travers 
  • Whitehall, the GLA and the Boroughs: what works and what doesn't 
    Tony Travers
  • Housing and Planning - a success story? 
    Christine Whitehead
  • Transport 
    Stephen Glaister
  • Dealing with the Economic Reality of London's (wider) Functional Region 
    Ian Gordon

General research




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