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Ulster University is to play a key role in shaping UK housing policy and practice as part of a new £7.5million national research centre that will tackle housing challenges at a state, devolved, regional and local level.

The Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) will launch in August 2017 and is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It has also received funding from the consortium of UK universities and industry stakeholders who will lead the independent centre.

As a major employment sector, and with more than a fifth of household spending dedicated to rent, mortgage payments, repairs and improvements, housing has a considerable impact on the economy and society. Ulster University will contribute to the research centre to advance knowledge of the housing market and produce evidence to inform policy and practice around the the availability, cost and design of housing.

Ulster University researcher, Professor Stanley McGreal, said:

“To be selected as part of this prestigious national centre is testament to the pioneering and impactful research that is already delivered by Ulster University’s Centre for Research on Property and Planning.

“As part of this new consortium the University will explore everything from housing aspirations and sustainability to poverty and employment. We will collaborate with leading UK universities and industry experts to help inform and shape housing policy, and ultimately transform lives.”

Over the next five years, University of Glasgow will lead CaCHE, which will have five research hubs across the UK including at Ulster University in Northern Ireland, as well as Glasgow, Sheffield, London and Cardiff.