28 May 2021

Dr Sarah Payne appointed to support government’s housing policy group

Dr Sarah Payne, Lecturer in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, has been appointed to support a group formed by the government which aims to help homeowners gain more control over their homes.

Terraced houses in London

The Commonhold Council, chaired by Building Safety Minister Lord Greenhalgh, forms a partnership of leasehold groups and industry representatives to consider the practical steps to implement a reinvigorated commonhold system. These members – including Leasehold Knowledge Partnership, the National Leasehold Campaign, UK Finance and the British Property Federation – will bring their expertise on the consumer needs and market readiness for commonhold within the housing sector.

Commonhold gives homeowners more autonomy over the decisions that are made. They are in control of their building in what is known as the building’s ‘commonhold association’.

Dr Payne forms part of the Technical Support Group which will be established to offer practical, legal and analytical expertise to the Commonhold Council. Dr Payne’s research examines institutional change in market-led housing systems, and she is particularly interested in how developer behaviour shapes housing supply outcomes.

Speaking about her appointment, Dr Payne said: “I’m delighted to be appointed by the Secretary of State to support the work of the Council in reinvigorating commonhold and preparing the market for widespread uptake. Making home ownership fairer and more secure is a key feature of our research and teaching in the Department, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help create a fairer system where homeowners have more autonomy and security.”

Head of Department Professor David Robinson said: “As a Department we strive to make a difference by bringing our experience and expertise to bear on real world challenges. Sarah’s role on the Commonhold Council is a great example of how we deliver on this ambition. The know-how she will bring to the group will be vital as they work to set out the practical steps to addressing the challenges that leaseholders face by rolling out a new and more effective commonhold system.”

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