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Mind the (Housing) Wealth Gap

Intergenerational Justice and Family Welfare

The transfer of family wealth across generations is of growing political and social importance.  Access to private wealth (notably housing wealth) increasingly determines life chances.  This raises important concerns of inter-generational justice and a fair transfer of money between family members.  The project ‘Mind the (Housing) Wealth Gap:  Inter-generational Justice and Family Welfare’ explores inequalities in society, particularly the uneven distribution and transfer of wealth within and across generations.  The programme of research is funded for three years by the Leverhulme Trust.  It will address four key aims:

  • Address the barriers to change including legal, policy and financial complexities and the benefits and behaviours of individuals;
  • Identify the extent to which current demographic trajectories, changing attitudes and behaviours towards wealth will reinforce or reverse existing inequalities;
  • Understand the implications of these inequalities and injustices for individuals across the life course;
  • Understanding changing patterns of family housing and wealth resources.

Five research streams are addressing these issues from different perspectives.  The research programme aims to contribute to debates around inheritance tax, equity release products, housing wealth as a private means of social protection and the effect of economic crises on inter-generational transfers.

See our link to the End of Project Conference Justice and Welfare: Exploring Generational Shifts for recent updates.

Dr Beverley Searle is leading the inter-disciplinary project team of 11 researchers that are located at the University of Dundee, University of St Andrews (Centre for Housing Research), University of Birmingham (Centre on Household Assets and Savings Management) and University of Essex. We also collaborate internationally with colleagues at the University College Dublin (Ireland) and Delft University (Netherlands).  Further support is provided by a Steering Group of experts who will give advice throughout the research and dissemination process.

If you have any inquiries regarding the project, please contact Dr Beverley Searle (Principal Investigator) or any other project member.

Project Leader:

Partner Universities:


Project Sponsor:

The project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust under the grant reference number RP2011-IJ-024.

2 Responses to “”
  1. Janet Sutherland says:

    Very interested in your research. I am doing some work for the Housing LIN on downsizing, and for the GLA on planning for housing London’s older people until 2031. Will it be possible to follow your research or engage with some elements of it?

    • Dear Janet,
      We are always open for the exchange of ideas. The best way to keep posted on our activities is to follow us on Twitter, befriend us on Facebook and check our website regularly. If you send us an email to, we will put you on a newsletter list.
      Best, Stephan Köppe

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