Professor Rebecca Tunstall



Former Director of the Centre for Housing Policy
Joseph Rowntree Professor of Housing Policy

  • PhD Social Policy and Administration 1995-2000 (part-time) Department of Social Policy, LSE
  • MA in Urban Design 1993-94 Joint Centre for Urban Design, Oxford Brookes University 
  • Diploma in Urban Design 1992-93 Joint Centre for Urban Design, Oxford Brookes University; Passed with distinction

I have wide-ranging research interests and expertise across housing studies, social policy, and applied social research. My principal areas of work have been social housing, neighbourhoods, and inequality, which since 2001 have been pursued as a member of LSE’s ESRC Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) and from 2003 as a fellow of the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.

This expertise has been recognised in numerous invitations to speak and to perform academic and policy advisory roles, for example for CLG and JRF. I have shared a platform with the Prime Minister and various other ministers, presented work to senior central government figures, given numerous media interviews, and spoken to a wide range of audiences including practioners, tenants’ groups and school children.


For the past 15 years I have worked as team leader, team member and sole researcher on projects for clients including: Communities and Local Government (CLG), the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), the Nuffield Foundation, the Housing Corporation, the Homes and Communities Agency, the Tenant Services Authority, the National Housing Federation, the Scottish Government, individual social landlords and others.



Research interests

  • Social housing
  • neighbourhoods
  • inequality

I have used a wide range of research methods, from in-depth interviews and time-interval photography, to analysis of large-scale datasets and covert experiments. My projects often combine qualitative and qualitative methods, in order to develop a rich understanding of the operation and impact of housing and neighbourhood policy, and how this varies between places, whether housing markets or administrations.

I am also particularly interested in longitudinal studies of places, housing, people and the interactions between them. In addition, I have long-standing interests in public participation in decision-making and service decentralisation.

I have researched, published and established expertise in particular on social housing management, tenant participation, segregation and mixed communities, neighbourhood regeneration, riots, housing design and US-UK urban and housing comparison.


Full publications list

Tunstall, R. (2018) ‘U-turns in housing trends: the end of socio-tenurial polarisation?’ Town and Country Planning 87(3) Article (MS Word , 40kb)Article (MS Word , 40kb)

Tunstall, R. (2017) ‘Who gains from new housing?’ Town and Country Planning 86(11) Article (MS Word , 29kb)

Tunstall, R. (2017) ‘Time to spread a little happiness’ Town and Country Planning 86(8) Article (MS Word , 23kb)

Tunstall, R. (2017) ‘Burning injustices”: Progress on social inequalities under Theresa May?’ Town and Country Planning 86(6) Article (MS Word , 26kb)

Tunstall, R. (2017) ‘The housing white paper’ Town and Country Planning 86(3) Article (MS Word , 31kb)

Tunstall, B. (2015) The Coalition’s Record on Housing: Policy, Spending and Outcomes 2010-2015, Social Policy in a Cold Climate - Summary (PDF , 458kb) Social Policy in a Cold Climate - Full Paper (PDF , 739kb) Social Policy in a Cold Climate - Presentation (PDF , 490kb)

Tunstall, B. (2015) Relative housing space inequality in England and Wales, and its recent rapid resurgence, Taylor and Francis online,

Tunstall, B., Green, A., Lupton, R., Watmough, S. and Bates, K. (2014) 'Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment?: The results of a field experiment in the UK.' Urban Studies, Vol. 51 (4)pp 763-780  link to Urban Studies website

Tunstall, R. (2014) Data and methods required to explore housing space inequality in England and Wales, 1911-2011. Online appendix to article in the International Journal of Housing Policy, ‘Relative housing inequality: A century of decline in housing space inequality in England and Wales and its recent rapid resurgence’. Data and methods required to explore housing space inequalities (PDF , 24kb)

Rhodes, D., Tunstall, R. and O'Malley, L. (2014) Prevention practice: Learning from youth crime activity in eight youth offending teams in 2008/09 and 2009/10, London: Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. Link to the report on Youth Justice Board's website

Tunstall, R., Green, A., Lupton, R., Watmough, S. and Bates, K. (2014) Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment? The results of a field experiment in the UK, Urban Studies, Volume 51, Issue 4, March 2014 link to Urban Studies website

Padley, M., Bevan, M., Hirsch, D. and Tunstall, R. (2013) Minimum acceptable place standards, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Minimum acceptable place standards report (PDF , 1,454kb)

Tunstall, R. (2013) Testing DWP's assessment of the impact of the social rented sector size criterion on housing benefit costs and other factors, Liverpool: Riverside Underoccupation penalty report (PDF , 253kb)

Tunstall, R. (2013) Presentation on 'Housing, Poverty and employment' to the ICHUR Workshop at the University of Reading on the 19th September 2013 Housing, poverty,employment slides (PDF , 1,015kb)

Tunstall, R (2013) ‘Neighbourhood effects and evidence in neighbourhood policy in the UK: Have they been connected and should they be?’pp177-194 in eds. Manley, D; van Hamm, M; Bailey, N; Simpson, L ad Maclennan, D Neighbourhood effects or neighbourhood based problems?: A policy context London: Springer

Tunstall, R. Housing and poverty Conceptual links and practical implications, Presentation to the RC43 Conference, Amsterdam, July 2013 Housing and poverty presentation (PDF , 514kb)

Tunstall, R. A bit like watching geology change: Neighbourhood dynamics in England 1985 - 2011 and why we shouldn't expect policy to change. Presentation to the ENHR conference June 2013, Tarragona ENHR presentation (PDF , 2,006kb)

Tunstall, R., Bevan, M., Bradshaw, J., Croucher, K., Duffy, S., Hunter, C., Jones, A., Rugg, J.,  Wallace, A.,  Wilcox, S (2013) The Links Between Housing and Poverty, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Findings (PDF , 226kb) Housing and Poverty Full Report (PDF , 1,548kb)

Tunstall, R. et al,  JRF Housing and Poverty Evidence Review: Methods used to find and select evidence, York, Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Methods used to find and select evidence (MS Word , 37kb)

Fenton, A; Lupton,, R; Arrundale, R and Tunstall, R (2012 online) Public housing, commodification, and rights to the city: The US and England compared,  Cities

Newton, R. with Tunstall, R. (2012) Lessons for Localism: tenant self-management, London: Urban Forum. Report (PDF , 3,220kb)‌‎

Tunstall, R. (2012) "Breaking up communities"? The evidence on slum clearance 1945-85 and what it tells us about the "breaking up of communities". Presentation (MS PowerPoint , 432kb)

Tunstall, R.  (2012) La stratégie nationale de renouvellement urbain au Royaume-Uni (1998-2010)in Houard, N. (Ed) Politique de la Ville: Perspectives francaises et ouvertures internationales, Paris: Centre d'Analyse Strategique. Report (PDF , 2,099kb)

Tunstall, R (Ed) (2012) Breaking up communities? The social impact of housing demolition in the late twentieth century. Record of a study and information sharing day, November 2, York. ‌

Tunstall, R., Lupton,, R., Green, A., Warmough, S. and Bates, K. (2012) Disadvantaged Young People Looking for Work: A job in itself?, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report (PDF , 574kb) Summary (PDF , 133kb)

Tunstall, R. (2012) 'Twentieth century trends in inequalities n housing consumption: The case of housing space in England and Wales, 1911-20. Paper presented to the Social Policy Association conference,  Social Policy in an Unequal World, University of York, 16th-18th July. Presentation (MS PowerPoint , 3,361kb)

Tunstall, R; Green, A; Lupton, R; Watmough, S., and Bates, K. (2012)'Do people from neighbourhoods with poor reputations face
‘postcode discrimination’ when looking for work?' Paper presented to the 2012 Social Policy Association conference, Social Policy in an unequal world, University of York, 16th-18th July 2012. Presentation (MS PowerPoint , 468kb)

Tunstall, R; Green, A; Lupton, R; Watmough, S., and Bates, K. (2012) Does poor neighbourhood reputation create a neighbourhood effect on employment? The results of a field experiment in UK. Paper to the Centre for Urban Studies workshop, University of Amsterdam, 3rd-5th June Paper (PDF , 227kb)‌‎

Tunstall, R; Lupton, R; Power, A and Richardson, E (2011) Building the Big Society CaseReport 67 London: CASE, LSE

Tunstall, R (2011) Life chances and housing: The facts pp47-62 in eds. Gregory, J Homes for citizens: The politics of a fair housing policy London: The Fabian Society

Tunstall, R. (2011) 'Social housing and social exclusion 2000-2011', CASE Paper, no. 153, CASE, LSE. Paper (MS Word , 47kb)‌‎ 

Tunstall, R; Lupton, R; Kneale, D and Jenkins, A (2011) Teenage housing and neighbourhoods and adult outcomes: Evidence from the 1970 cohort study (supported by the Homes and Communities Agency/Tenant Services Authority) (CasePaper) London: CASE, LSE

Tunstall, R; Lupton, R; Kneale, D and Jenkins, A (2011) Growing up in social housing in the new millennium: Housing, neighbourhoods and early outcomes for children born in 2000 (supported by the Homes and Communities Agency/Tenant Services Authority) CasePaper ). London: CASE Paper (PDF , 402kb)‌‎

Tunstall, R (2011) ‘Mixed communities and urban policy: reflections from the UK’ chapter 3 in eds. Bridge, G; Butler, T and Lees, L Mixed Communities: Gentrification by Stealth? Bristol: Policy Press

Tunstall, R (2011) ‘Social exclusion and estate regeneration’ in eds, Anderson, I and Sim, D Housing and social exclusion Coventry: CIH

Tunstall, R (2011), 'How much tenure mix is there in England, how has this changed 1981-2001 and what are the policy implications?', Paper presented at European Network of Housing Research, Toulouse, France, 5/07/11 - 7/07/11. Paper (PDF , 213kb)‌‎

Crook, T et al (2011) What, for whom and where have housing associations been building new affordable homes? Final re  port of a research project analyzing available data for the Homes and Communities Agency and the Tenant Services Authority University of Sheffield/CCHPR University of Cambridge/LSE

Lupton, R; Heath, N; Fenton, A; Clarke, A; Whitehead, C; Monk, S; Geddes, M; Fuller, C; Tunstall, R; Hayden, C and Robinson, J (2010) Evaluation of the Mixed Communities Initiative Demonstration projects: London: CLG

Lupton, R; Fenton, A; Tunstall, R and Harris, R (2010) Using and developing place typologies for policy purposes: A toolkit London: CLG

Tunstall, R; Lupton, R and Tunstall, H (2009) How housing affects children’s education and development through the effects of overcrowding, frequent mobility, and poor health and poor well-being London: CLG (

Tunstall, R with Fenton, A (2009) Communities in recession: The impact on deprived neighbourhoods York: JRF (

Lupton, R; Tunstall, R; Sigle-Rushton, W; Obolenskaya, P; Sabates, R; Meschi, E; Kneale, D and Salter, M (2009) Growing up in social housing in Great Britain: The experience of four generations London: Tenant Services Authority/JRF/Scottish Government ( )

Lupton, R; Heath, N; Fenton, A; Clarke, A; Whitehead, C; Monk, S; Geddes, M; Fuller, C; Tunstall, R; Hayden, C and Robinson, J (2009) Evaluation of the Mixed Communities Initiative Demonstration projects: Initial baseline and process issues report June 2007 London: CLG (

Tunstall, R (2009) Assessing local authority and neighbourhood variations in the likely impact of the recession on renters and landlords(

Lupton, R and Tunstall, R (2008) ‘Neighbourhood regeneration through mixed communities: a 'social justice dilemma'? Journal of Education Policy 23(2) pp105-111

Tunstall, R and Lupton, R, with members of the Mixed Communities Evaluation team (2008) Mixed communities: Evidence review for Department of Communities and Local Government London: LSE

Tunstall, R (2008) A review of the place theme in JRF and JRHT September York: JRF

Tunstall, R (2008) The effects of current and potential changes in the housing market on regeneration projects: Evidence from the Mixed Communities Initiative Evaluation August London, LSE

Feinstein, l; Lupton, R; Hammond, C; Mujtaba, T and Sorhaindo, A with Tunstall, R; Richards, M; Kuh, D and Jonson, J (2007) The public value of social housing: A longitudinal analysis of the relationship of housing and life chances Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, Institute of Education, University of London (

Tunstall, R; Simpson, R; Kitazawa, K; Rode, P; Chandra, C; Sundaresan, J and Konstantinou, C (2007) Urban India: Understanding the maximum city London: Urban Age/LSE (

Travers, T; Tunstall, R; Whitehead, C and Pruvot, S (2007) Population mobility and service provision London: London Councils (

Tunstall, R; and Coulter, A (2006) Turning the tide? 25 years on 20 unpopular council estates in England Bristol: Policy Press (

Fenton, A and Tunstall, R (2006) Mixed income, mixed tenure, mixed communities: What do we know? A review of the evidence London: Housing Corporation (,_large_print_version.doc)

Tunstall, R (2005) Using the United States and United Kingdom censuses for comparative research Washington DC: Brookings Institution (

Tunstall, R (2005) Studying Urban Areas in the United States and United Kingdom Washington DC: Brookings Institution

Tunstall, R (2005) Americans and Britons: Key population data from 1980 to today Washington DC: Brookings Institution (

Tunstall, R (2003) “‘Mixed tenure’ policy in the UK: Privatisation, pluralism or euphemism?” Housing, Theory and Society 20(3) pp.153-159

Tunstall, R and Lupton, R (2003) Using area deprivation measures to target individuals on low incomes CasePaper, CASE, LSE

Tunstall, R (2002) What do residents think about housing density? London: LHF/ETHG

Tunstall, R (2001) ''How devolution and user participation in public services work and what they do: The case of Tenant Management Organisations in English council housing' Urban Studies, 38(13) pp.2495 - 2514

Tunstall, R (1999) Great expectations: Managing local authority estates after stock transfer London: NHF

Power, A; Tunstall, R and Lee, A (1999) Local housing companies: A new kind of partnership London: Housing Corporation/EFHA

Power, A and Tunstall, R (1997) Dangerous disorder: Riots and violent disturbances in 13 areas of Britain 1991-92 York: York Publishing Services (summary available at www.

Power, A and Tunstall, R (1995) Swimming against the tide: Progress and polarisation in twenty unpopular council estates 1980-95 York: JRF (summary available at

Dixon, J and Power, A with Jarvis, H and Tunstall, R (1995) Building for communities London: LSE Housing

Professor Rebecca Tunstall

Contact details

Prof. Rebecca Tunstall
Former Centre Director & Joseph Rowntree Professor of Housing Policy
Centre for Housing Policy
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 321480
Fax: 01904 321481