Bingzi He

The Five Pillars of Collaborative Housing – exploring enactment in Chinese Cooperative Security Housing and English Community Land Trusts

Supervisors: Professor David Mullins, Professor Richard Ronald

The study aims to analyse the urban low-income people’s housing issues in the contemporary society. To do this the research will be supposed to understand the nature of collaborative housing initiatives, how these are negotiated between state, market, and individual/community actors. This study is focusing on a particular form of collaborative approach to social housing provision (i.e. Focused on low-income urban households). The research attempts to answer these two questions: What are the natures of collaborative housing and initiatives? What do the tensions between the state, the market and individuals towards collective social housing provision? For achieving the research aims and answer the research questions, the thesis proposes land, finance,actor, partnership and idea as five pillars of the research framework.

The research plans to develop a conceptual approach to support research into the development of collaborative housing for addressing urban low-income people’s housing issues in the society. The thesis will conceptualise these five pillars first and show the relationship of this framework to the existing literature on CLH. In the research, the hybridisation theory will also be used.The framework will then be used to examine CLH in two different contexts of case studies, UK’s Community Land Trusts and China’s CSH in practice. Although the political, economic, cultural and social backgrounds of the two case study countries are different, collaborative housing initiatives in both societies experience similar challenges, such as land access, finance, the roles of participations, partnerships and the community management towards commons. One hypothesis is that policy tools and approaches in addressing low-income people’s housing issues are converging towards hybrid models of social housing. Another is that the different external contextual factors concerning collaborative housing and different housing policy and welfare regimes at the Macro level make them for very different realities on the ground. The comparative case study approach will enable us to test each of these hypotheses (convergence and divergence) and to understand the dynamics regarding hybridity and the five pillars. Three levels, Macro, Meso, and Micro, will be expected to research two countries’ cases. Mixed research methods will be used to collect and analyse data.

Research interests

Social housing, collaborative housing, housing welfare regime, housing policy, UK and China

Conference papers

The Importance of Land in Collaborative Housing : reflections from China and England (European Network for Housing Research 2016 in Belfast).

The Five Pillars of Collaborative Housing – exploring enactment in Chinese Cooperative Security Housing and English Community Land Trusts (The New Housing Research Colloquium 2016 in Dublin).