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[Dr Stuart Lowe] I think housing is one of those areas of social policy
you can literally go and look at.
And so we do... it's very easy to go out.
We go to two places usually: New Earswick, in York,
which is just up the road from here.
It's a famous garden suburb, model housing from the early part of the 20th century.
Then we have a day out in Newcastle.
One of the themes in Newcastle is the way in which housing very much connects
with the way that society's changing, being reshaped.
In this case, during the 1980s and 1990s, we went from being basically a manufacturing economy
to something else: services.
The great northern industrial cities lost massive amounts of jobs,
and work, and the industrial infrastructure was massacred.
Newcastle is a prime case of that.
So we go and have a look at where there used to be 20,000 jobs at Armstrong
and Vickers on the Tyne. It's all gone.
The housing consequence of that is very tragic actually,
because people lost their work, moved away,
the people left behind were in a very bad situation.
So, we go around the area looking at different sites.
We talk to people who lived there,
some of the council officers who still work and try to deal with these problems.
And then we go to one of the major success stories of social housing,
which is the Byker estate.
So we look at regeneration, what happened after the decline of the industrial infrastructure,
and, some of the good stories that come out of that.
The big question for us is
'How come Byker, in the same context, was a successful estate...
whereas at the West End of Newcastle
everything went completely pear-shaped?'
That's the question we try to figure out.
The aim is that students can then go onto interviews for housing jobs,
housing research, housing training.
So, the aim is that people are geared up for that.
The case of Newcastle and the macro-level, the big policy, of what was going on at the time
is something that's still very relevant, because
we're now in an economic decline, same kind of issues
there to do really with the policy process.
What happens when governments try to intervene or shape the way that big cities
and out society unfolds in these contexts.
[Students] see the problems of housing management:
where you have boarded up accommodation,
what you do with it;
[or] a lot of trouble with private landlords
operating housing benefit scams.
There's quite a lot of detailed discussion about what actually happens
when you become involved in housing as a career,
and in the direction of working with local authorities, housing associations.
They're interesting, but very challenging careers,
and I think the students see something of the challenge in Newcastle.