The Lifetime Affordable and Tenable City Housing (LATCH) research project consists of three inter-linked and concurrently executed work packages.
Work Package 1: Understanding home buying decision making (January 2014 – January 2017)
Work Package 1 will explore how household decision makers address home buying decisions and their expectations and experiences of urban liveability and affordability through two principal research methods. Firstly, observational semi-structured interview of 60 householders at different life stages and in different housing contexts will be undertaken. Two interview rounds will be undertaken; the first in late 2014 and the second in 2016 to enable a longitudinal study of households within the group who move during the research. Interviews will be semi-structured and initially themed around what is pleasant, desirable and healthy about past, present and imagined future dwellings, before more specific questions are posed about expectations and experiences of transport and mobility, social networks, population density, service access, housing typologies, open space, health, wellbeing, safety and affordability.
Work Package 2: Informing home buying practice – A Home Buyer tool and trials (January 2014 – January 2017)
Work Package 2 involves the iterative development and trialling of a digital ‘Home Buyer’ tool. This tool will integrate new understandings of liveability and affordability developed through WP1 with existing third-party data on liveability and housing affordability. The Home Buyer tool will incorporate locational variables that impact on liveability and affordability, such as distance to schools, shops, transport or parks. The tool will provide meaningful assessments to assist home purchasers to understand the relative suitability of different housing options for their particular needs and situation. The Home Buyer tool will be trialled with the user cohorts identified in WP1 to obtain feedback and additional information which will allow us to better understand the key factors influencing purchase decisions, as well as improve the tool’s interface.
Work Package 3: Informing city housing development – An upscaled Agent Based Model (ABM) (October 2014 – January 2017)
In this work package we will combine knowledge of ‘informed’ homebuyer decision making practices and the approach of government and industry urban development stakeholders to produce an Agent Based Model (ABM) to simulate a range of urban futures. The research team will work closely with SJB Urban and MPA to run intensive workshops with other urban development stakeholders to identify key aspects of urban development decision making that can be incorporated into an ABM for urban scenario modelling. Once established the ABM will be used to simulate a range of growth scenarios and what such scenarios would mean for cities in terms of liveability and affordability.