Empowering Glasgow's Tenants through Community Ownership?
Post 1997, stock transfer has been pivotal to the housing and regeneration agenda of the New Labour government, both at the UK and devolved level. Although a heavily researched policy area, stock transfer research has tended to focus quite narrowly on the perspectives of policymakers, practitioners or members of the transfer association's governing body. To address this research gap and focus more explicitly on the voices of local residents, this paper draws on the case study of the unique two-stage Glasgow housing stock transfer in order to explore 'community ownership' and 'tenant empowerment' from the perspective of 'lay' tenants. Political ambitions for direct democracy and communitarian endeavour have been central to stock transfer agendas in Scotland, where the policy has developed quite distinctly compared with the rest of the UK. Focus group research with tenants in Glasgow, however, highlights that empowerment was not an important priority for tenants at the point of transfer; that the transfer has delivered mixed outcomes in terms of local tenant control; and on the key issue of support for 'full' community ownership tenants were unconvinced, and expressed a need for more information.
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