- Professor in Housing Economics (Urban Studies)
Ken is a professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences in the subject area of Urban Studies. He is also Director of Policy Scotland, and co-director of What Works Scotland co-funded by ESRC and Scottish Government. He has been a full time member of staff at the University in various guises since 1989. He was an ESRC research fellow until his appointment as a lecturer in 1994. After becoming a senior lecturer in 1999 and a Reader in 2001, he became a professor in 2006. Ken was also Head of the Department of Urban Studies from 2005 to 2010 and associate dean of the Faculty of Law, Business and Social Sciences in 2009-10. Ken is also the Director of Policy Scotland, the University hub for policy research and knowledge exchange.
Ken's research interests are focused on the economic, financial and policy dimensions of housing. He has carried out research for government departments, ESRC, Jospeh Rowntree Foundation, trade bodies, the private sector and international organisations like OECD. His current interests are on the financing and economics of social and affordable housing, and, the application of behavioural economics to housing.
Ken has been the managing editor of the Urban Studies journal and was a trustee of the Urban Studies Foundation. He is immediate past president of RC43 (housing) of the International Sociological Association and is a former president of the European Real Estate Society. He sits on four editorial advisorial boards. He was a visiting professor to the University of Amsterdam in 2011. He has recently acted as advisor to the Scottish Parliament's Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee. He has also worked for the Scottish Parliament's Welfare Reform Committee.
After a period on the national board of Sanctuary Housing Association, Ken sits currently on the board of Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association.
- Housing markets and economics
- Urban housing systems and economies
- social housing and housing policy
- public policy
Selected recent research grants
Housing and Work Incentives (Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
Evidence Review of the Impacts of UK Welfare Reform affecting Housing
What Works Scotland (ESRC/Scottish government) - co-director and CI (partnership with University of Edinburgh)
Administrative Data Research Centre Scotland (ESRC), co-investigator on housing and public engagement workstreams (led by Edinburgh University)
Risk, Reform and Resilience (Wheatley Group) £15,000
International Review of Financing Affordable Housing (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) with Duncan Maclennan (St Andrews) and Mark Stephens (Heriot Watt)
Reviewing Housing Benefit Reform Impacts on Social Tenants (Northern Ireland Housing Executive) With Newhaven Research and Chris Leishman (Heriot Watt)
Social Rent-setting in Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Housing Executive) with Newhaven Research, Steve Wilcox (York), Allison Orr and Declan Redmond (UCD)
Housing and Neighbourhoods Monitor (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with Cecilia Wong, University of Manchester and Stanley McGreal, University of Ulster), 2008-2011
Current Research Students (PhD)
Jie Huang - REITs and affordable housing in China
Seemanti Ghosh - welfare analysis of aspirational poverty traps
Marjan Kloosterboer - urban renewal in Addis Abiba
Sarah Ward - Ayrshire & Arran Health Board: Asset-based approaches: improving local outcomes
Alternative contact address
Adam Smith Building
Current University Roles
I co-ordinate and facilitate Commonwealth Games legacy research within the University associated with the 2014 Commonwealth Games. I represent the University in the Commonwealth Games Research Partnership.
Consulting and Advice
I am acting as an advisor to the Housing and Well-Being Commission, an 18-month Commission funded by Shelter Scotland.
I have considerable experience of consultancy and advisory work in the housing sphere, including commissions for Glasgow Housing Association, the Scottish Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, DCLG, the World Bank, OECD, the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and different local authorities and private sector bodies.
Academic and Professional Body Memberships
I am a board member of Sanctuary Scotland housing association. I am also a shareholder in Mortherwell football club.