Dr Halima Sacranie is Director of Housing Research at the Centre for the New Midlands.

Halima completed her PhD at the Centre for Urban and Regional Studies (CURS) at the University of Birmingham in 2011, which was the regional centre of excellence for housing policy research. Following a college restructure and several senior academic retirements, CURS staff were absorbed into different departments at the University of Birmingham. Halima worked with leading housing academic Prof David Mullins to establish the Housing and Communities Research Group based in the Department of Social Policy, taking on leadership of this group from 2018 when David retired.

In her capacity as Housing Research Lead, Halima has worked on a range of research projects from the stage of project bids to designing methodologies, undertaking empirical research, producing final reports, and disseminating findings through publications and conferences. Halima’s most recent research has been as UK academic partner on CHARM (Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management) which is a 4-year project EU funded project aiming to develop an asset management approach that prevents downcycling of materials in the renovation and construction of social rented dwellings. Her work on the project has focused on the impact on, and role of tenants, across the partner organisations adopting Circular Economic principles in social housing case studies. Other projects Halima has undertaken recently include a 3-year study on Housing Quality, Neighbourhoods and Resident Wellbeing with VIVID Homes, and a 2-year study with the Gambling Commission and Birmingham City Council on harmful gambling and tenancy insecurity. Previous public grant project evaluation work has included the national and regional evaluation of the Empty Homes Community Grants Programme, and Halima has worked with funders like the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Nationwide Foundation and the ESCR.

Through her research experience, Halima has developed a strong understanding of the housing policy and built environment context in the West Midlands, as well as a familiarity with key stakeholders in the range of sectors encompassed by the housing and communities’ agenda.

In her role as Director of Housing Research, Halima is building a programme of research with the ambition to establish the thinktank as the new centre for excellence for regional housing policy research. She remains a Research Fellow at both the University of Birmingham and Aston University and so is still embedded in an academic community and able to draw on university resources and networks in her work.