Housing Sprint

The Oxford Housing Sprint assembled 56 leading practitioners, academics, and disruptors to bring radical realism and energy to bear on the UK's national housing emergency. Through an intensive three-day event at The Oxford Foundry on 15-17 July 2019, the group used a modified Design Sprint approach to tackle the long-term goal of seeing an increased number of homes delivered in ways that generate community benefits and sustainable economic growth:

  • The Oxford Housing Sprint was sponsored and supported by a consortium of industry and central government, and was managed, organised and hosted by Oxford Saïd.
  • The Sprint method forced everyone to think creatively and collaborate to produce fresh, innovative ideas at speed. We think this technique has the potential to unfreeze longstanding problems and blockages, so we recommend it to everyone involved in UK housing.
  • Informed by three pieces of specially-commissioned research and more custom provocations from four University of Oxford academics, the Sprint generated a portfolio of 13 practical ways to boost housing supply plus a set of quick wins for immediate impact. The ideas spanned better use of data to pinpoint housing need, new sources of finance, reinvigorating public sector provision, more flexible home types and tenures, initiatives to mobilise local support for homebuilding and ways to release more land. The event also addressed the barriers to change and future-gazed to imagine how housing might make the headlines in ten years’ time.
  • The Sprint outcomes will be shared at a range of conferences and through a dedicated incubator website and Saïd Business School publication. From there, we will invite partners and other support to turn these bright ideas (singly or in combination) into a bold, new reality. Decades of under-supply mean that it will take at least a generation to get Britain’s homebuilding back on track. Housing our nation is both a marathon and a sprint.

Read the reports that this research has generated:

Designing successful communities

Land report

Finance for housing in England: money and the market, investment, affordability and tenure