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Governance of relocation; an examination of residential relocation processes in the housing market renewal Pathfinder areas in England

Author: Rosenfeld, O.
Type:Conference paper
Publisher/Organization: Delft University of Technology, OTB Research Institute for the Built Environment
Source:International conference on Neighbourhood Restructuring & Resident Location: Context, Choice and Consequence, Delft, The Netherlands, November 4-5, 2010
Keywords: residential relocation, governance, grounded theory, housing market renewal, UK
Rights: (c) 2010 Rosenfeld, O.


This paper examines governance processes shaping outcomes of neighbourhood restructuring induced residential relocation (RR) in the Housing Market Renewal (HMR) areas in England.
In 2002, the Housing Market Renewal proposed demolition of 100,000 properties to renew the failing housing markets of Northern England and the Midlands (Leather et al.2007). However, residential relocation has been neglected in both policy and research. HMR did not provide any policy guidance or standards for RR delivery and outcomes. The research about HMR in general and residential relocation in particular remains limited. In the UK residential relocation was extensively studied following the slum clearance in the '50s and '60s. Since then RR has been examined as a matter of social and political debates, especially gentrification studies, focusing mainly on negative RR outcomes long after the process was over. This paper argues that such focus had led the researchers to ignore subtle, practical dimensions of relocation delivery and the causal relationships between these and often very diverse RR outcomes. The main innovation of this paper resides in conceptualizing residential relocation as an integral element of urban regeneration governance processes. Using grounded theory framework (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) the paper first identifies processes shaping residential relocation and maps the networks that deliver them within the HMR framework. Rigorous application and critical appraisal of the qualitative methodology unpacks the challenges of ‘relocation governance’ at the local level by juxtaposition of the local relocation processes with contrasting outcomes for the residents. The paper draws answers from 50 interviews with RR practitioners and residents in Newcastle Gateshead case study and survey of nine Housing Market Renewal Areas in England. It concludes by providing recommendations for the future research.

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