Empowerment to the People - University of St Andrews

Empowerment to the People
Investigating the social and economic impact of communities
taking control within Community-Led Housing
Natasha Williams
University of Birmingham
Supervisors: Rick Joseph and
David Mullins
Localism agenda
Overview of the Housing Cooperative Sector
European Comparatives
Co-operatives & Mutual Housing – Differences
The Community Gateway Model
Research Question(s)
Localism Agenda
• Devolving service delivery and governance from government to
local communities
• “Too much has been imposed from above, when experience shows
that success depends on communities themselves having the
power and taking the responsibility.
• It’s no good officials in Whitehall or even the Town Hall telling
people what is needed in their street.”
• …. everyone has a stake based on equal rights and where they pay
their dues by exercising responsibility in return, and where local
communities shape their own futures.
Overview of the Sector
The co-operative housing sector is small – just
0.6% of total housing stock of 16 million homes
836 co-operative and mutual housing organisations
Managing over 169,000 homes
92,000 (54%) owned by co-operative/mutuals
77,000 (46%) managed by tenants
62% registered with UK housing regulators
91% in England, 5% in Scotland, 3% in Wales
54% in London (71% of TMOs) – rest mainly in other urban areas
4 Community Gateway Housing Associations – Preston, London, Watford and
Braintree, Essex
European Comparatives
In Turkey: 25% of the total housing
stock with 1,408,603 units
In Sweden: 18% of the total
housing stock with 750,000 units
In Norway: 15% of the total housing
stock with 320,000 units
In Germany: 10% of the total rental
housing stock with 2,200,000 units
In Austria: 8% of the total housing
stock with 334,000 units
In Portugal: 1/3 of the social
housing portfolio with 180,000 units
Co-operatives & Mutual Housing Differences
• Government funded ownership housing cooperatives – members & tenants own,
manage and democratically control their
• Tenant Management – Tenants of local
authority or housing associations take
responsibility for the democratic management
features of the delivery of housing services –
Right to Manage
The Community Gateway Model
• The Community Gateway Association is a type
of not-for-profit organisation that can be used
to manage council housing or take ownership
of it as a “registered social landlord”.
• Developed through the Co-operative
• Support from Government and financial
organisations who lend to housing
Key Features
Stock transferred estates (LSVT)
Mutual housing
Own assets collectively
Governance – Tenants make up majority of management board
Led by residents for residents
Key objective:
‘Promote community empowerment, community control and
community ownership’
Why Empower?
• Sense of community
• Contact theory – More positive contact that
people experience with other groups the
more tolerant of difference and willing to
work together
• Achieved through learning and collective
• Require a redistribution of power – culture
Research Question(s)
• How can communities improve their deprivation
levels by through resident-led initiatives within
housing cooperatives and mutual housing.
• Investigate
– Approach to localism
– Types and significance of social capital
– Umbrella organisations/intermediaries/ institutional
support structures
– How residents are empowered
Institutional focus – Hybrid organisations
Literature Review
Policy analysis
Case studies focusing Community Gateways
Mixed methods
• CCMH (2009) Bringing Democracy Home
• Czischke, D., Gruis, V and Mullins, D. (2012) Conceptualising Social
Enterprise in Housing Organisations, Housing Studies 27:4, 418 –
• Lawson, L and Kearns, A (2010) ‘Community Empowerment’ in the
Context of the Glasgow Housing Stock Transfer
• McKee, K (2009). The ‘Responsible’ Tenant and the Problem of
Apathy. Social Policy and Society, 8:01 pp 25-36
• Olsson, J and Hysing, E (2012). Theorizing Inside Activism:
Understanding Policy Making and Policy Change from Below,
Planning Theory and Practice, 13:2, 257-273
• Sacranie, H. (2012) Hybridity Enhacted in a Large English Housing
Association: A tale of Strategy, Culture and Community Investment,
Housing Studies, 27:4, 533-552