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JRF establishes housing market taskforce

publication date: Jul 17, 2009
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A number of the UK’s leading housing and economics experts have been brought together by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to develop a series of long-term policy options that would help end the cycle of boom and bust in the housing market.

Launched today, the JRF Housing Market Taskforce will seek to challenge the root causes of instability in the housing market that have led to a damaging cyclical pattern.

Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of JRF, said:
“There is a desperate need to protect the most vulnerable households from the devastating consequences of extreme fluctuation in the market. Though the scale of the current economic turmoil and its global nature is unprecedented, there are similarities with past downturns and it is obvious there has been a failure in policy and practice.
“There is no better time to grapple with the fundamental questions surrounding our housing market model. Have we over-promoted home ownership? Are there credible alternatives in the rented sectors? What is an acceptable level of consumer risk? It is vital that we establish a long- term vision for the housing market that is both sustainable and just.”

JRF is a leader in social research and benefits from a wealth of existing evidence in this field. It is in a unique position to conduct this research because of its practical experience, through the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, of running and managing housing developments.

The experts on the JRF Housing Market Taskforce are:
• Julia Unwin - Chief Executive of JRF
• Kate Barker - Author of the Barker Review of Housing Supply
• Dr. Peter Williams - Consultant on housing markets and housing policy
• Keith Exford - CEO of the Affinity Sutton Group
• Elaine Kempson - Professor of Personal Finance and Social Policy and Director of the Personal Finance Research Centre at Bristol University
The Taskforce, in consultation with external specialists, will bring new analysis to existing research. It will deliver its recommendations in 2010.