Dr Halima Sacranie

Dr Halima Sacranie

School of Social Policy
Research Fellow and Lecturer in Housing
Research Lead – Housing and Communities Research Group

Contact details

Dr Halima Sacranie is a research fellow and group lead of the Housing and Communities Research Group (HCRG) which is part of the Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management (CHASM) at the University of Birmingham.

Housing and Communities is an important arena for current policy and practice challenges in relation to homelessness, welfare reform, housing options, Generation Rent, housing supply and affordability, financial inclusion, and the role of third sector housing organisations in service delivery. Research and knowledge transfer on these topics play a key role in the University's civic engagement agenda.

Halima works on a range of housing-related research projects from the project bidding phase, designing different research methodologies, undertaking and completing research, producing final reports and disseminating findings through writing papers and presenting at conferences and seminars.

Halima is currently working on a large collaborative European project funded by Interreg NWE entitled CHARM which is aiming to develop and implements an asset management approach that prevents downcycling of materials in renovation and construction of social rented dwellings in 4 case study social housing organisations. Other current research interests are on the role of social lettings agencies as a new form of social housing in the private rental sector.

As a lecturer in housing policy Halima teaches an undergraduate module entitled Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy and contributes to teaching on the subject of housing on a range of other undergraduate and postgraduate modules at University of Birmingham. She also supervises undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students on their research and dissertations.


  • University of Birmingham: 2017 – 2018
    Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education
  • University of Birmingham: 2007 - 2011
    PhD in Urban and Regional Studies
  • Aston Business School, Aston University: 2003 - 2005
    MSc in Business Studies
  • University of Cape Town: 1997 - 2000
    BAS (Hons) Bachelor of Architectural Studies


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.


Module lead for Contemporary Issues in Housing Policy (2nd year undergraduate module for BA programmes in the  Department of Social Policy Sociology and Criminology, Joint Honours and Geography and Planning

Lecture contributions on Social Policy and Social Problems (1st year undergraduate) and MA Sector and Services

Dissertation/ research supervisor for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students

Jane Slowey Memorial Bursary Officer


Recent project funders and projects include:

  • Interreg NWE: CHARM – Circular Housing Asset and Renovation Management (Sustainability and Circularity in Social Housing)
  • Nationwide and JRF: National Social Lettings Agency Scoping and Case Studies
  • Birmingham and other Midlands Local Authorities: West Midlands Social Lettings Agency Framework
  • Nationwide and ESRC: Empty Homes Legacy Impact Project
  • London and Quadrant Housing Association: Achieving Social Mix in Housing
  • Northern Ireland Housing Executive: Tenant Involvement in Governance
  • BSHF: Empty Homes Community Grants Programme Regional Evaluations (Midlands, North East and Yorkshire)

For more information please see: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/chasm/research/housing-communities/research/index.aspx

Other activities

Having grown up in South Africa during a period of great political change, Halima has always felt strongly about civic engagement and volunteering. Since moving to the UK in 2001, she have been actively involved as a member of community group associations, and by running a girls’ youth and mentoring group from 2002 to 2006.

Since 2007 till presently, she runs a weekly community playgroup for mothers and toddlers on Sunday mornings. As part of a Midlands-based ladies group, Halima also helps organise charity and fundraising events in partnership with, or in aid of, a number of local charities.


Ferrari,  Pattinson, Sacranie et al (2019) Scaling-up social lettings? Scope, impact and barriers, Sheffield: Sheffield Hallam (forthcoming)

Mullins, D  & Sacranie, H. (2018) A New Social Housing in the Private Rented Sector: The Role and Limits of Social Lettings Agencies, Housing Studies Association Conference 2018 (forthcoming)

Mullins, D & Sacranie H (2017) Social Lettings Agencies in the West Midlands: Literature Review and Typology, Birmingham: University of Birmingham, Housing and Communities Research Group.


Mullins D, Sacranie H & Pattison B (2017) Social Lettings Agencies in the West Midlands (Final Report), Birmingham: University of Birmingham, Housing and Communities Research Group.


Sacranie, H., Lang, R. & Sacranie, H. (2015). The Role of Partnerships in Community-led Housing in England. 7th International Conference on Economics and Management of Networks (EMNet), Cape Town, South Africa

Mullins, D and Sacranie, H (2015) Building a legacy: The Impact of the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme in the North East Yorkshire and Humberside


Mullins, D and Sacranie, H (2014) Evaluation of the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme – Midlands Baseline Case Studies Report, TSRC and BSHF



Sacranie (2013) Hybridity Enacted in a Large English Housing Association: A Tale of Strategy, Culture and Community Investment, Housing Studies 27(4): 533 – 552 ; Taylor and Francis