Community ownership in Glasgow: the devolution of ownership and control, or a centralizing process?

Kim McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The largest housing stock transfer in Europe, the 2003 Glasgow transfer, promises to 'empower' tenants by devolving ownership and control from the state to local communities. This is to be delivered through a devolved structure in which day to day housing management is delegated to a citywide network of 60 Local Housing Organizations, governed at the neighbourhood level by committees of local residents. The receiving landlord, the Glasgow Housing Association, has further made commitments to disaggregate the organization via Second Stage Transfer in order to facilitate local community ownership, as well as management of the housing stock.

This paper argues that while the Glasgow transfer has enhanced local control in the decision-making process within the limits permitted by the transfer framework, it has nonetheless failed to deliver the levels of involvement aspired to by those actively engaged in the process. Displaying, at times, more of the semblance of a movement than an organization, the Glasgow Housing Association operates a classic centre-periphery divide. These tense central-local relations have contributed to the emergence of conflict which has further undermined negotiations surrounding the realization of full community ownership via Second Stage Transfer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-336
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Housing Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


  • Social rented housing
  • Stock transfer
  • Community ownership
  • Tenant empowerment
  • Second stage transfer
  • Glasgow


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