The political economy of social housing reform - a framework for considering decentralised ownership, management and service delivery in Australia

Nygaard, C, Berry, M and Gibb, K 2007, 'The political economy of social housing reform - a framework for considering decentralised ownership, management and service delivery in Australia', Urban Policy and Research, vol. 26, pp. 1-17.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The political economy of social housing reform - a framework for considering decentralised ownership, management and service delivery in Australia
Author(s) Nygaard, C
Berry, M
Gibb, K
Year 2007
Journal name Urban Policy and Research
Volume number 26
Start page 1
End page 17
Total pages 16
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Several State Housing Authorities in Australia are currently examining models of devolved management and ownership of social housing stock and addressing reduced Commonwealth State Housing Agreement funding (or have already done so). These changes in the provision and mode of below-market accommodation are reflective of two broad trends: firstly, a greater reliance on market and not-for-profit provision of public services; and, secondly, a change in the role and mode of bureaucratic intervention at various levels of government. In this article we illustrate a framework for analysing these changes by focusing on the transfer of some 86 000 properties from the Glasgow City Council to the Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) in 2003 and also provide an interpretation of how the restructuring of social housing in the UK reflects the political economy of property rights, and the governance and incentive structure through which the restructuring of advanced economies is implemented. We conclude by briefly drawing implications from the British case for Australia. The analysis is conducted in a new institutional tradition that assesses property rights and the provision of social housing, and associated policy goals, under comparative institutional arrangements or governance structures. We argue that stock transfer in essence is a policy of delineating ownership of different attributes of the housing stock and that such a delineation is crucial to the functioning of the emerging governance structure and the ability of stakeholders to extract value from ownership. We draw on a series of interviews conducted by the authors as part of research into the 2003 GHA transfer. These interviews were conducted with policy makers and politicians (past and present), the regulator in Scotland, GHA staff and representatives of the community-based housing association sector in Glasgow.
Subject Social Theory
DOI - identifier 10.1080/08111140701540778
Copyright notice © 2008 Editorial Board, Urban Policy and Research
ISSN 0811-1146
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