UCL Department of Geography


Housing Inequality Research: Insights and Policies for a Fairer Britain

7 November 2023

Rory Coulter explains what his research tells us about housing and inequality in Britain, and discusses what housing policies he’d like to see on the table ahead of the 2024 General Election.

Rory Coulter

In the latest podcast for the Understanding Society: Insights series, UCL Geography’s Rory Coulter – in conversation with David Sturrock, Senior Research Economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies – discusses what his latest book tells us about housing and inequality in 21st-century Britain. 

Listen to the podcast

In their wide-ranging discussion, Rory explains how the homes we live in shape the course of our lives in ways that range from our health through to the jobs that we do, our family lives, and the wealth that we do – or do not – accumulate. Rory and David also explore what we know about intergenerational transmissions of wealth in the housing system, what these mean for social mobility, and what housing-related policies might create a fairer, greener, healthier, and more prosperous Britain.

The Insights series brings together academics, policymakers and civil society experts to discuss the insights that analysing social datasets, in particular the UK’s ESRC-funded Understanding Society survey, provide about major social policy issues. 

Understanding Society is the world’s largest household panel study that each year interviews the same individuals from a representative sample of households about issues ranging from health to family dynamics, social attitudes, living standards and more. 

Rory has long used Understanding Society in his research and he currently acts as the study’s Topic Champion for Housing, a role that involves providing scientific input into survey design, devising training resources, and publicising the study.

Past episodes of Insights explore some of the country’s most pressing public policy challenges, including tackling the cost-of-living crisis, ensuring healthy ageing and understanding the future of work.

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