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Unit information: Housing Law and Policy in 2015/16

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Unit name Housing Law and Policy
Unit code LAWD30111
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Cowan
Open unit status Not open

LAWD10012 Law and State LAWD10013 Constitutional Rights



School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit, the uneven relationship between housing law and policy is developed throughout. We look at their interaction and difficulties which each provides for the other. Although the expectation is that change in law will change practice, this is rarely born out in the everyday practices of housing management, finance and development. The unit examines the following topics: the development of housing; regulation of housing by central and local government as well as trade associations; access to housing  homelessness, housing registers, rules for asylum-seekers; and the development of rights in housing, looking particularly at controls on the behaviour of occupants and their housing provider.

The unit is doctrinal, contextual and socio-legal, so students will be able to appreciate the conjunctions and disjunctions between housing law and policy, as well as the spontaneous connnections which are made in practice. The critical question often is the diversity of ways in which formal law overlaps with and influences on-the-ground practice, and students should be able to reflect on this question as the unit progresses.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

  • Explain:
    • the differences between and within each of the housing tenures
    • how housing tenure is regulated
    • the mechanisms of access to each housing tenure
    • occupiers rights and responsibilities in relation to their use of housing
  • Appreciate how each element interacts with and affects other parts through an appreciation of the current position as well as its history.

Teaching Information

Ten one-hour lectures and ten two-hour seminars.

Assessment Information

Students will have the opportunity to submit two pieces of formative assessment. The first formative assessment is mandatory; the second formative assessment is optional.

Summative assessment: two pieces of coursework, 2000 words each.

The coursework will be made up of solely essay type questions, designed to assess both whether students were able to appreciate and apply the law and policy across the breadth of the syllabus, as well as whether they were able to think critically about it.

The assessments will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

D. Cowan, Housing Law and Policy, Cambridge: CUP, 2011