Rebecca Searle is the Housing Forum coordinator and a historian of the housing crisis. She is interested in both explaining the development of the contemporary housing situation and exploring the ways in which the organisation of housing in the past can prompt us to think differently about housing in the present.

She has particular expertise in the contemporary crisis in the city of Brighton and Hove, the history of the private rented sector, the growth of housing finance, housing activism, and the relationship between gender, age and housing costs. Rebecca is interested in the potential of digital technologies to help map the dynamics of local housing markets in order provide the evidential basis for policy reform.

Tilo Amhoff is interested in the history of social, socialised, and socialist forms of not-for-profit production of housing by building cooperatives, worker’s organisations, and union-owned as well as nationally-owned enterprises. As a historian of architecture and planning he researches the various labours and the social, economic, and political conditions of the social process of the production of architecture and the built environment and the forms of union organisation by building workers, architectural workers, and academic workers. He asks to what extent the housing crisis is not only a crisis for the consumers of housing but also for its various producers.

Ian Bailey is particularly involved in community led development and affordable and appropriate housing solutions being developed with a bottom up approach to sustainable design and occupation. Working both in academia and his own Brighton based architectural practice Ian is collaborating with the growing community led sector in the city to facilitate new working practices and local housing policy based mechanisms for grass roots community groups to develop an alternative approach to housing supply in the city. Ian is also interested in the economics of land and housing and how alternative models of tenures such as community ownership have the potential to provide appropriate and affordable housing for those most in need.

Luis Diaz is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture and Design and runs a housing design studio in the undergraduate programme. His studio and research focuses on the relationship between the spatial practices of occupants and spatial form (the material and spatial specificity of the built environment). The research currently focuses on the space between the street (the city) and the front door of individual dwellings as an arena when identities of individuals are both formed and transformed. This space is seen as critical to the way in which a sense of belonging or alienation is constructed. Drawing on methodologies of spatial analysis and of the everyday this research seeks to provide alternative histories of housing estates in Britain in order to inform approaches to future housing.

Deanna Dadusc is a Lecturer in Criminology, School of Applied Social Sciences. Her interdisciplinary work bridges criminology, social movements studies and critical borders studies. In particular, her research examines the criminalisation of practices of resistance in relation to housing as well as migration politics. Deanna’s PhD thesis is titled: ’The micropolitics of criminalisation: power, resistance and the Amsterdam squatting movement’. Her current research project is supported by the University of Brighton Rising Star scheme, and is titled: ‘Contested Borders: migrants’ squats and the criminalisation of solidarity’.

Hamid Eslimy-Isfahany is an Academic and Structural Engineer, who is interested in Engineering Education, Design of Sustainable Homes and Community Led Design for Housing. He is passionate about developing a package of technical and organizational measures (including public-private partnership and community engagement) to address housing crisis and housing inequality by successful transfer of key technology features and due attention to localisation/adaptation. The romanticised definition of Civil Engineering, which is “to engineer civilisations”, fuels Hamid’s enthusiasm for educating the next generation of civil engineers.

Sarah Leaney is a sociologist researching social class and housing. Sarah’s ethnographic research explores the social and material conditions of social housing and the everyday experiences of people who live on council estates. She is interested in the social construction of ideals of home ownership and how this dominant discourse shapes the experiences of home for those who are socially housed.

Della Madgwick is interested in the fabric and tenure of new build housing and how it meets the needs of the occupiers. The government vision for more sustainable living which peaked around 2013 with the demise of the Code for Sustainable Homes may or may not leave a legacy on the way that we engage in sustainable living for example research on clothes drying in new homes revealed an increase in tumble drying.

In addition the encumbrance on many new housing sales of increasing restrictive covenants and private land management deals continue to cause inequity between new home buyers and old home buyers – Della’s research considers the impact of this inequity on home buyers and also opportunities for self-build and custom house building in an era of increased Housing Delivery.

Bethan Prosser is a doctoral student in the School of Applied Social Sciences. Her PhD title is ‘Social and cultural manifestations and responses to seaside gentrification on the UK south coast’. Research interests include gentrification, housing, social exclusion, spatial justice, mobilities and migration. Bethan has a professional background in the community/voluntary sector, including working in housing and homelessness. Until recently Bethan worked in facilitating community-university partnership (CUPP) and brings a commitment to community-engaged and mutually beneficial research.

Matt Smith is interested in gender, sexuality and the spatial and temporal dynamics of these. He is currently working on a PhD project exploring transgender and non-binary experiences of Brighton & Hove and understand the implications of these for urban planning theory, practice and policy. His background as a qualitative geographer informs his approach to using creative methods to understand embodied experiences of space. He seeks to conduct collaborative storytelling and mapping workshops, interviews and an analysis of policy in order to develop an idea of the trans right to the city.

David Wolff has been the Director of the Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP) since its inception in 2003, regularly teaching and researching on the topic. Prior to this David worked in the community and voluntary sector in the fields of homelessness, advice and information services, project management and in the use of IT. He has occupied roles as a volunteer, service delivery worker, manager, director and consultant and is also a Commissioner for the Brighton and Hove Fairness Commission.


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