Mixed Messages about Mixed Tenure: Do Reviews Tell the Real Story?
Mixed tenure is the predominant development and regeneration strategy and is a key component of UK housing and urban policy. It is purported to provide wide-ranging social, environmental and economic benefits to residents. While there is a large literature on mixed tenure, policy makers are likely to rely on reviews and summaries of the evidence rather than primary studies. But can they rely on such reviews? Using systematic review methods this paper critically appraises recent reviews for the evidence that mixed tenure policies and strategies have achieved any of these expected benefits. Of the six UK reviews of primary studies, most drew on less than half the available primary studies, none provided a critical appraisal of individual studies and made no comment on conflicting evidence between and within studies. While the reviews gave indications of the deficiencies of the evidence base, rather than focus on the implications of these deficiencies, four of the six reviews emphasised the positive effects of tenure mix.