Professor Jo Richardson

Job: Associate Dean Research and Innovation / Professor of Housing and Social Research

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: Hugh Aston Building, The Gateway, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 207 8859


Social Media:


Personal profile

Jo is Professor of Housing and Social Inclusion, and she is Associate Dean for Research & Innovation in the Faculty of Business and Law. Jo is an active member of the Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC). As a qualitative social researcher, she focuses on using co-production methods within local communities in many of her projects. In 2019, Jo was conferred a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; in the same year, she was also voted vice president of the Chartered Institute of Housing (taking on the president role in November 2020). Jo is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing (1999), a member of the Chartered Management Institute (2003), a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2002), a member of the Housing Studies Association (2003) a member of the Political Studies Association (2010), a member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies (2011) and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (2017). In 2018, Jo was elected as a Trustee of the international research charity World Habitat. She has also taken on the role of co-Chair of the DMU Women network as part of her passion for equality, in the academy.

Jo's broad interests cut across management, social policy and public policy disciplines.  Key areas include:

  • Social housing, including community-led initiatives and approaches
  • Negotiation, conflict resolution, emotion and resilience in accommodation provision and management
  • Homelessness and marginalisation
  • Gypsy and Traveller accommodation, site delivery and management
  • Identity, space and place

Research group affiliations

Local Governance Research Centre

Key research outputs

Here is a selection of recent key publications:

Richardson, J (2019) Place and Identity: The Performance of Home, Abingdon: Routledge

Richardson, J. and Codona, J. (2018) Blame and Fear: Roma in the UK in a Changing Europe. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 26 (1), pp. 95-112

Richardson, J (2017) Precarious living in liminal spaces: neglect of the Gypsy-Traveller site. Global Discourses, 7(4), pp.496- 515

Richardson, J. (2017) The European End Street Homelessness Campaign: Leicester City Report, Leicester: De Montfort University

Richardson, J. (2017) Conflict Sites in a Time of Crisis: Negotiating a space and place for Gypsies and Travellers. In: Cairns, G., Artopoulos, G. and Day, K. (Eds) From conflict to inclusion in housing –perspectives on the interaction of communities, residents and activists with the politics of the home. London: UCL Press. pp.40-55

Richardson, J and Codona, J (2016) Providing Gypsy and Traveller Sites: negotiating conflict, York JRF/ Coventry CIH

Richardson, J. and Codona J. (2016) Managing and Delivering Gypsy and Traveller Sites: negotiating conflict, Coventry: CIH/JRF

Manzi, T and Richardson, J (2017) ‘Rethinking professional practice: the logic of competition and the crisis of identity in housing practice’ Housing Studies, 32 (2): 209-224, published online first June 2016

Richardson, J. (2016) Gypsy and Traveller Sites: Performance of Conflict and Protest; Sites of Protest. In: Price, S and Sanz Sabido, R. Sites of Protest, London: Rowman and Littlefield International Ltd.

Gallagher, V, Johnson, M, O’Dowd, S, Barret, D and Richardson, J (2016) A Guide for Communities: Working with Academics on Participatory Research Projects, Lancaster University

Beebeejaun, Y. Durose, C. Rees, J., Richardson, J. and Richardson, L. (2015) ‘Public Value or Public Harm?  Towards coproduction in research with communities’ Environment and Planning C  2015, volume 33, pages 552 – 565

Richardson, J, Barker, L, Furness, J and Simpson, M (2014) Frontline Futures: new era, changing role for housing officers, Coventry: CIH

Beebeejaun, Y. Durose, C. Rees, J., Richardson, J. and Richardson, L. (2015) ‘Public Value or Public Harm?  Towards coproduction in research with communities’ Environment and Planning C  2015, volume 33, pages 552 – 565

Richardson, J (2014) ‘Roma in the news: an examination of media and political discourse and what needs to change’. People, Place and Policy Online, Volume 8, No. 1, pp 51 - 64

Richardson, J (2013) 'Delivering housing learning in a tough environment' in Thornhill, J (2013) (Ed) Learning today, leading tomorrow: skills and learning for the housing industry of the future, Coventry: CIH

Beebeejaun, Y. Durose, C. Rees, J., Richardson, J. and Richardson, L. (2013) 'Beyond Text: exploring ethos and method in co-producing research with communities' Community Development Journal, Advance access published 14th February 2013

Richardson, J and Ryder, A (Eds) (2012) Gypsies and Travellers: Empowerment and Inclusion in British Society, Bristol: Policy Press

Durose, C. Beebeejaun, Y. Rees, J., Richardson, J. and Richardson, L. (2012) Towards Co-production in research with communities, AHRC online

Richardson, J (2012) Mobility and Community in: Susan J. Smith, Marja Elsinga, Lorna Fox O'Mahony, Ong Seow Eng, Susan Wachter, editors.  International Encyclopedia of Housing and Home, Vol 4.  Oxford: Elsevier; 2012. P302-306

Richardson, J (Ed) (2011) From Recession to Renewal: the impact of the financial crisis on public services and local government, Bristol: Policy Press

Ryder, A, Acton, T, Cemlyn, S, Cleemput, P, Greenfields, M, Richardson, J and Smith, D (2011) ‘A Big or Divided Society? Final Recommendations and Report of the Panel Review into the Impact of the Localism Bill and Coalition Government Policy on Gypsies and Travellers’, London: Travellers Aid Trust

Richardson, J (Ed) (2010) Housing and the Customer: understanding needs and delivering services, Coventry: Chartered Institute of Housing

Richardson, J and Ryder, A (2009) New Labour’s policies and their effectiveness for the provision of sites for Gypsies and Travellers in England -  in Sigona, N and Trehan, N (Eds) Gypsies and Travellers in Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Richardson, J (2007) Providing Gypsy/Traveller Sites: Contentious Spaces, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Richardson, J (2007) ‘Policing Gypsies and Travellers’ in Hayes, M and Acton, T. (Eds) Travellers, Gypsies, Roma: The Demonisation of Difference: Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Press

Richardson, J. (2006) The Gypsy Debate: can discourse control? Exeter, Imprint Academic

Richardson, J. (2006) Talking about Gypsies: the use of discourse as control Housing Studies Vol 21, No. 1, pgs 77-97

Research interests/expertise

Social housing, homelessness, accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers, media discourse and marginalisation, meaning of home, place and identity.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Social Theory, December 2004, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • Diploma in Registered Social Landlord Governance, January 2004, College of North East London, Middlesex University
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing Advanced Certificate in Marketing, June 2002, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • MSc Housing (distinction), June 1999, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • University Certificate in Housing (distinction) June 1997, De Montfort University, Leicester
  • BA (Hons) (2:1) Public Administration and Managerial Studies, June 1995, De Montfort University, Leicester

Courses taught

Place, Space and Identity module on the Masters programmes

Membership of external committees

Trustee of World Habitat since 2018

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Fellow Chartered Institute of Housing
  • Fellow Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce
  • Member Chartered Management Institute
  • Member Political Studies Association
  • Member of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies

Conference attendance

  • Richardson, J and Spinney, A (2019) ‘Gypsy/Travellers and Indigenous Australians: identity, stigma and housing disadvantage’, Housing Studies Association Conference, Sheffield, 10th April.

  • Richardson, J (2018) ‘Resilience at Work? Pain on the Frontline of the Social Housing Sector’ at the Identity Track of the British Academy of Management conference, Bristol, 4-6 September.

  • Richardson, J (2017) ‘Housing Profession Futures: Resilience on the Frontline’, 29 November to 1st December, Sydney Australia, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute Conference.

  • Richardson, J (2017) ‘Precarious Living in Liminal Spaces: the case of Gypsy and Traveller accommodation’, British Academy/ Lancaster University Conference Participatory Research: Working and Communicating with Communities: reflecting on ‘A Cross-Cultural Working Group on “Good Culture” and Precariousness, Newcastle, 7-8 January.

  • Richardson, J (2016) ‘Conflict sites: negotiating a space and place for Travellers’, AMPS conference Government and Housing in a Time of Crisis, Liverpool 8-9 September.

  • Oxley, M and Richardson, J (2014) 'Boosting affordable UK housing supply through conditional object incentives: can comparative studies and knowledge exchange help us learn lessons?', European Network Housing Researchers conference, July 2014, Edinburgh
  • Manzi, T and Richardson, J (2014) 'Welfare Professionalism, Critical Pedagogy and Reflective Practice: Confronting Contemporary Dilemmas in Housing Education' European Network Housing Researchers conference, July 2014, Edinburgh
  • Richardson, J (2013) 'The emotionomics of planning for home', RC43 International Sociological Association conference, Amsterdam, July 2013
  • Richardson, J (2013) 'Managing conflict in planning for Traveller sites', Social Policy Association Conference, Sheffield, July 2013
  • Richardson, J (2013) 'Developing resilience in social housing organisations: the need for customer and staff insight', European Network of Housing Researchers (ENHR) Conference, Tarragona, Spain, June 2013
  • Richardson, J (2012) 'Performance in Planning: Gypsy and Traveller Identity, the construction of conflict', Royal Anthropological Institute Conference, London, June 2012
  • Richardson, J (2010) ‘Discourse Dissonance: an examination of media, political and public discourse and its impact on policy implementation for Roma, Gypsies and Travellers at a local level’. Romani Mobilities conference, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, January.
  • Richardson, J and Thompson, P (2009) ‘Exploring learner participation in curriculum development towards employing more read/write approaches on a distance learning professional programme’. 8th European Conference on e-learning, Bari, Italy, October.
  • Richardson, J (2008) ‘A race apart: how the lack of residence for Gypsies and Travellers engenders conflict’.  Seminar paper to the European Network of Housing Researchers’ conference, July, Dublin, Ireland.  

Consultancy work

  • Commonweal ‘Freedom to Work’ project evaluation September 2016 – July 2019,  Principal Investigator
  • Equalities and Human Rights Commission 2017-2018, Research into Site Provision for Gypsies and Travellers, Co-Investigator
  • Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange, Evaluation of Asset Based Community Development Project, September 2014 to July 2017
  • Melton Borough Council 2014, Project leader at DMU on evaluation of 'Me and My Learning' project
  • 2013 - 2014 Chartered Institute of Housing Frontline Futures, Future of the Housing Officer.
  • March - September 2013 Somerset Councils Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Update
  • September 2012 - January 2013 Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Update
  • March - June 2012 Principal delivering bespoke customer insight training for Seven Locks Housing association in Leicestershire
  • 2012 Principal Investigator Wessex Community Assets community land trust (Somerset) evaluation project
  • October 2009 - November 2010 Principal Investigator for Somerset Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment
  • June - November 2010 Principal Investigator Cambridgeshire Gypsy and Traveller Strategy

Current research students

Jo would be interested to hear from prospective research students who are interested in social housing, excluded communities, Gypsies and Travellers, negotiation and conflict resolution in housing and planning.

Jo has successfully supervised two PhDs to completion recently.

Jo is currently supervising the following students:

  • Janie Codona, Public Policy p/t MPhil/PhD student - 1st supervisor
  • Trevor Pask, Public Policy p/t MPhil/PhD student - 1st supervisor

Externally funded research grants information

  • Greater London Authority and London Gypsies and Travellers, An examination of the possibility of Negotiated Stopping in London, Principal Investigator, 2019
  • Action Homeless (funded by Nationwide Foundation) Evaluation of ‘Accommodation Plus’ model, Leicester, Principal Investigator, March – July 2019
  • Swinburne University, Melbourne, Visiting Fellowships Scheme, grant to support travel to Australia to undertake research on ‘mainstreaming’ of housing management and the effect on marginalised Indigenous communities November-December 2017
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2014 - 2017), Principal Investigator 'Co-producing conflict resolution methods for Gypsy and Traveller Sites'
  • Economic and Social Research Council, Knowledge Exchange Project on Boosting Affordable Housing Supply, led by Professor Mike Oxley
  • ESRC seminar series funding (2012 - 2013) Jo was Principal Investigator running a series of three seminars on Gypsy and Traveller issues with a central theme of conflict resolution.  Partner organisations include Cornell University, Bristol,  Sheffield and Buckinghamshire New University
  • AHRC Connected Communities project on problematising co-production, on team led by Catherine Durose, DMU (2011)
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation on sites for Gypsies and Travellers; 2005 - 2007 Principal Investigator

Internally funded research project information

  • 2014 - £1,250 core funding for conflict resolution project in Leeds
  • 2013 - £300 core funding for urban community land trust evaluation project
  • 2009 - Early Career Researcher funding (£1000) to enable me to examine planning data for Gypsy and Traveller sites
  • 2010 - Revolving Investment Fund for Research Building Capacity to Impact on Policy and Practice (project led by Catherine Durose)

Research impact and media

Invited lectures/speeches/seminars

  • Conflict sites: negotiating a space and place for Travellers (2016), Program on Negotiation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University, 12th May.
  • Roma in the News (2015) Invitation from the British Embassy in Bucharest, to make a speech as part of a human rights debate, March 2015
  • Member of panel held in the House of Lords on 3rd February 2011 examining the impact of the Localism Bill on Gypsies and Travellers (fellow panel members were Lord Avebury, Lord Boswell, Rory Stewart MP, Professor Thomas Acton, David Joyce and Dr Andrew Ryder)
  • Representation of Roma in the Media (2010) Invited to participate in the Scholars Meeting  by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Warsaw, Poland, March 16th-17th, 2010

Expert Advisor

Jo was invited as expert advisor for the Local Government Association Housing Commission 2016, with a particular focus on the theme of ‘prosperous places where people want to live’


Jo has appeared in the media on the subject of housing (in November 2017 a live interview with East Midlands night-time news with the Leicester survey as part of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign; and in March 2015 as part of the Leicester and Leicestershire Homes for Britain relay) and on the topic of Gypsies and Travellers – on the BBC Radio 5 Live drive time programme in 2005 (as well as BBC Radio Leicester and SAGA FM) and in 2008 she did an interview for BBC Radio Three Counties on site provision.  On August 30th 2010 Jo was on television for BBC Breakfast News in an interview with Clive Myrie on the change in government targets for Gypsy site provision.  Jo took part in a BBC Radio Leicester documentary programme on 4th March 2011, and spoke to BBC Radio Somerset about accommodation needs for Gypsies and Travellers on 7th March 2011.  Jo advised researchers for BBC’s Countryfile programme on a report on Gypsy and Traveller sites that was broadcast on 21st June 2015.  She recently talked about the private rented market with BBC Radio Leicester and on TV with BBC East Midlands on 11th August, and on housing issues more generally on TV with ITV Central News on 17th August 2016.