Policy event on recent changes in young adults’ housing and independent living

23 November 2012 - The findings of a programme of research on independent living among young adults were presented to a policy audience at the Local Government Association (LGA) offices, Smith Square, London.

This free event, hosted by the ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC), aimed to inform the development of social policy and practice by identifying new trends in young adults' housing transitions, exploring the impact of recession, the choices facing those finishing higher education and highlighting the role of intergenerational support.

The key findings from five interrelated projects undertaken within CPC were presented, with Kathleen Kelly, Policy and Research Manager at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, acting as discussant. Afterwards, there was a panel discussion of the policy implications with invited experts in housing and youth from third sector organisations, and local and national Government, including Stephen Aldridge from the Department of Communities and Local Government, Gavin Smart, Director of Policy and Practice at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), David Clapham, Professor of Planning at the University of Reading, and Pauline McLoughlin of the Centre for Housing Research (CHR), University of St Andrews.

"Leaving home and establishing independent living can be a precarious and unpredictable transition for young adults" says CPC Director Jane Falkingham. "Recently this has been compounded by increased labour market insecurity and reductions in welfare support, along with declining access to home ownership and increased competition in the private rented sector. This event provides a vital opportunity for policy makers and third sector representatives to come together with CPC researchers to discuss the implications of these insights for policy and future research."

Speakers, including Dr Ann Berrington, Professor Sue Heath, Professor Lynn Jamieson, Dr Jo Sage and Dr Juliet Stone, considered topics such as: how constrained housing markets and rising unemployment have affected young adults' housing pathways; the boomerang generation, looking at who is returning to the parental home, and why; whether owner-occupation is beyond the reach of contemporary young adults; and how parents are supporting children during the transition to financial and residential independence.

The event took place from 9.30am to 1pm, and included a complimentary lunch, offering attendees the opportunity for further discussion and networking.

View the full agenda and read the CPC Briefing Papers for each research project:

The role of family and friends in the housing pathways of single young adults

The changing living arrangements of young adults in the UK

Twenty+ Futures

The complex migration pathways of UK graduates

A full roundup of the event is available to download including research findings and panel insights.

To hear recordings of the presentations click on the links below:

Welcome, by Professor Jane Falkingham, CPC, University of Southampton
The changing socio-economic and policy context for young adults' housing Transitions, by Dr Ann Berrington, CPC, University of Southampton
The new dynamics of leaving and returning home, by Dr Juliet Stone, CPC, University of Southampton
Discussion, by Kathleen Kelly, JRF
The complex processes of post-HE migration and the 'parental safety net', by Jo Sage, CPC, University of Southampton
Single Young Adults and their Housing Pathways, by Professor Sue Heath, CPC & Morgan Centre, University of Manchester
Global threats & young peoples' anticipated futures, by Professor Lynn Jamieson, CPC & CRFR, University of Edinburgh


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