Halima graduated in December 2011 with a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of Birmingham. Her thesis was entitled “Strategy, Culture and Institutional Logics: A Multi-layered View of Community Investment at a Large Housing Association.” As an ESRC CASE study of one of the largest housing associations in England, Affinity Sutton, Halima’s doctoral research afforded her a unique opportunity to undertake research from an ‘insider’ perspective within the social housing sector. The aim of the study was to take a multi-layered view of this large organisation to explore its changing identity, by tracking its evolving community investment strategy over a 2 year period, as an examination of shifting sub-cultures and driving institutional logics.
Since completing her PhD, Halima has worked as a Research Fellow first at the Third Sector Research Centre, and then as a Research Fellow at the Housing and Communities Research Group (founded with Professor David Mullins in 2015).
In addition to her research work, Halima has taught the 2nd year undergraduate Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy (previously Housing and Communities: Issues in Housing Policy) since 2014 and continues to lead for this module, which is informed and enhanced by the current and ongoing research of HCRG. In particular case study material from research projects which helps enhance student learning and engagement on topics.
Having an academic background in fields ranging from architecture to business studies, housing economics to housing policy, Halima supports cross-disciplinary approaches using different lenses by which to frame the same topic. Working on range of projects since completing her PhD has afforded Halima the opportunity to develop skills and experience on a range of interesting housing projects.
Halima also co-ordinates the wider group activities for the Housing and Communities Research Group both within the university and with external stakeholders, including the Housing and Communities Research Network seminar series and the newsletters.
Housing is a critical component of Social Policy and one that remains the focus of much public debate and through her teaching and research work Halima hopes to continue to raise the profile of this important subject among many others within the School of Social Policy, the University of Birmingham and to a wider audience of students, academics and practitioners.