Different roads? Evidence about the changing provision of English social housing

Kenneth Gibb (Department of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)
Katherine Trebeck (Centre for Public Policy for Regions, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK)

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis

ISSN: 1753-8270

Publication date: 2 October 2009



The purpose of this paper is to contextualise and assess “controlled” evidence about emerging plural provision of social housing within an English region.


Two matching pairs of case study social housing provider type (stock transfer associations and arm's‐length management organisations), all established between four and seven years previously and all located within the same region, are compared and contrasted through rich qualitative interviews with stakeholders, backed by secondary and other documentary evidence.


The new models have led to considerable change for both staff and tenants across many dimensions, mainly positive, in service delivery terms. It is also apparent that regulation and inspection have a dominant impact on social providers. It can be inferred from the evidence that a key challenge for the future is the lack of a clear, long‐term vision for social housing at the national policy level.


The paper is a rare empirical examination of wide‐ranging change to social housing in the UK. It is also unusual in its attempt to construct a quasi‐experimental series of case studies.



Gibb, K. and Trebeck, K. (2009), "Different roads? Evidence about the changing provision of English social housing", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 373-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538270910992818

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