Not available in 2015/16
GY441      Half Unit
The Politics of Housing

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Romola Sanyal


This course is available on the MSc in City Design and Social Science, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, MSc in Real Estate Economics and Finance, MSc in Regional And Urban Planning Studies, MSc in Social Policy (Research), MSc in Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning), MSc in Social Policy and Development, MSc in Urban Policy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Urbanisation and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The aim of this course is to examine the politics of housing from a transnational and comparative perspective. The course will link the empirical analyses on housing to theoretical discussions on class, community, gender, ethnicity and design. It will analyse housing issues ranging from informality, homelessness and gated communities to housing tenure, architectural design and housing as a humanitarian tool. This is an interdisciplinary course, drawing upon debates in fields such as Architecture, Urban Planning, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology and Development Studies. The course will help students develop a broad knowledge of the politics of housing in different countries and how they intersect with issues such as urban development, housing finance and public policy. It will also encourage students to think about housing issues relationally and globally.


Some of the themes covered in this course include: Traditional Housing, Community and Housing Design, Gender and Housing, Race and Ethnicity and Housing, Homelessness, Housing and Emergencies etc.



10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the LT.

1 1500 word essay and 4 one page reading responses

Indicative reading

Attwood, Lynne. 2011. Gender and Housing in the Soviet Russia: Private Life in Public Space. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Caldeira, Teresa. 2001. City of Walls: Crime, Segregation and Citizenship in Sao Paolo. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Charlesworth, Esther. 2006. Architects without Frontiers: War, Reconstruction and Design Responsibility. Oxford: Architectural Press.

Datta, K and Jones, G.A. (2012) Housing and Finance in Developing Countries. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.

Gowan, T. (2010) Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Glaeze, Webster, C and Frantz, K (2004) Private Cities: Global and Local Perspectives. London: Routledge.

Gottesdiener, L (2013) A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home. Westfield: Zuccotti Park Press

Jackson, K. (1985) Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.

King, A. (1995) The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture, New York: Oxford University Press.

Smart, A. (2006) The Shek Kip Mei Myth: Squatters, Fires and Colonial Rule in Hong Kong, 1950-1963. Hong Kong University Press.


Essay (80%, 5000 words) in the ST.
Presentation (20%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2014/15: 17

Average class size 2014/15: 8

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills