As one of the key work-streams at the CNM, our Housing and Communities research programme seeks:

• To address critical issues around Housing and Communities in the Midlands, supporting independent debate on strategy, policy and practice.

• To collaborate with key stakeholders to undertake impactful research, which includes reviewing existing evidence, identifying evidence gaps and addressing these gaps with new rigorous research in the field of Housing and Communities in the Midlands, focusing on common areas of interest, which will benefit our region and its communities.

• To engage with academia, industry, local, regional and national government, highlighting evidence of best practice in the region, working with our partners to both evaluate and positively influence regional and national policy around Housing and Communities.

• To create long-term and sustainable impact as a think-tank by uniquely contributing towards new longitudinal evidence bases and frameworks particularly around core themes including housing quality, health and wellbeing, net zero transitions and tenant engagement, housing need and affordability.

Our Research Team:

Heather Noble
Research Associate, Housing and Communities
Chinedu Ekechukwu
Research Associate, Housing and Communities
Dr Halima Sacranie
Director of Housing Research

Our Leadership Board:

Chris Plumley
Partner and Team Leader, Trowers & Hamlins LLP
Afzal Hussain DL
Chief Officer at Witton Lodge Community Association
Dr Halima Sacranie
Director of Housing Research
Liz Williams
Dominic Bradley
Chief Executive, Lench's Trust
Dr Steven McCabe
Associate Professor, Birmingham City University
Joanna Lee-Mills
Partner and Head of Social Housing Development, Shakespeare Martineau
Mike Leonard
CEO, Building Alliance CIC and Visiting Professor Manufacturing and the Built Environment, Birmingham City University
Alan Fraser
Independent Housing consultant and former CEO, YMCA Heart of England

Our Recent Reports

Our Recent Articles

Our Webinars

A key part of our work is to produce webinars, providing people from all across the region (and beyond) to provide their insight and expertise to how we can address and tackle some of society’s biggest challenges.  We look forward to announcing further webinars in due course, but here are two we held in 2020; ‘What role can Community Led Housing play in the West Midlands Housing Mix’ and ‘Has the time come for a dedicated Housing Court?’

Community Led Housing

A dedicated Housing Court

Covid-19 has sent shockwaves through virtually every part of our lives and almost every aspect of the economy. The impact of the pandemic is going to be profound on our communities but it does provide us with the opportunity to take stock and re-evaluate how we can do things better across our region.

Community Led Housing (CLH) is a growing movement across the UK, in which people are taking action and managing housing projects to build the affordable homes that the country urgently needs. 87,000 people are members of CLH groups; there’s been a 2121% increase in Community Land Trusts in a decade (from 14 to 311) and 6,000 community led homes are in the pipeline (

On 10th September, we hosted a webinar to explore the case for CLH and the role it could play in enhancing the housing mix across the West Midlands. The webinar also considered what CLH means in practice; how it can be advanced as a serious proposition to enhance communities across the region as well as looking at a live example of an organisation which went from theory to practice.

In October 2017, the then Secretary of State for Housing committed to consult with the judiciary on whether a new, specialist Housing Court could make it easier for all users of court and tribunal services to resolve disputes, reduce delays and to secure justice in housing cases.

In November 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released its ‘Call for Evidence’ to seek the views of all users of the courts and the property tribunals, such as individual owners towards the notion of a dedicated Housing Court.  In October 2020, we are still awaiting the outcome of this public consultation.

In July 2020, Glenn Harris MBE (CEO, Midland Heart) wrote an article for the Centre for the New Midlands in which he argued that “the Government made the right call in pausing evictions during lockdown, and in setting out measures to protect tenants with a pre-action protocol once the ban is lifted. But to fully protect tenants in the longer term, we need to take a closer look at the justice system itself”.

What could a well resourced dedicated Housing Court mean for the West Midlands region? Could the Midlands could host a pilot project of the scheme?