East of England Migration Review: Understanding the Relationships between Migration, Employment and Housing

On 18 September 2017, LSE London’s Christine Whitehead and Ian Gordon presented at an event entitled Rethinking an Old Problem: Innovation in Housing Supply and Demand, hosted by East of England, Local Government Organisation (EELGA). The event centred around concerns over the gap between housing supply and demand, which has been exacerbated by a reduction in house building over the past 40 years. This has had far reaching consequences on affordability of home ownership, rent, and rising homelessness.

The EELGA believe there’s a need for greater innovation in addressing issues of site development, advancing quantity, improving affordability, local authority planning services, and understanding future demand, such as growth and commuting patterns. The event aimed to support councils in the East of England address these concerns.

Christine Whitehead’s presentation, titled East of England Migration Review: Understanding the Relationships between Migration, Employment and Housing, comes from a research project which sought out to understand the dynamics of migration in relation to future growth in the capital. The project was led by Prof Ian Gordon with Tony Champion as the migration specialist and Neil McDonald and Christine on housing implications. Due to time constraints, the presentation mainly dealt with housing issues.

The presentation PPT can be downloaded here. The detailed speaker brief can be downloaded here.

An excerpt from the presentation outlining the main housing findings:

  • There have been massive changes in the mix of households in London as a result in part of rapid increases in the numbers of in-migrants but also because of relative increases in prices and rents since the turn of the century.
  • As a result of these pressures single person households in London have declined to the point of being an endangered species.
  • Equally people are having children later (and possibly fewer) and increasingly even couple households are sharing accommodation with family and friends.
  • At the same time, there has been large scale increases in the proportion of dwellings in the private rented sector, significantly as a result of the poor returns available on alternative investments.
  • The result has been far higher densities of occupation than had been predicted; slower outmigration into the rings and very significant affordability problems.
  • These patterns are also emerging most strongly in the OMA but increasingly across the wider south east.

The entire PPT presentation can also be downloaded from the list below which contains all the presentations from that day:


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