The Big Society, Localism & Housing Policy

ESRC funded Seminar Series, 2013-14

Seminar 3: St Andrews, 13-14 March 2014

The Big Society, Localism and the Future of Social Housing

Convenors: Dr Kim McKee & Prof. Duncan Maclennan, University of St Andrews


Key questions for the day:

  • What lessons can the co-operative and mutual sector offer for the housing association sector?
  • What does ‘new municipalism’ mean for social housing provision?  How is this likely to impact on future business models within the non-profit housing sector?
  • What do the proposals for ‘flexible’ social housing tenancies mean for the future of social housing provision?
  • Should social housing be simply a welfare-safety net for the most vulnerable groups?  What effects does this have on social-spatial polarisation?



A report on the seminar’s proceedings can be found on our Publications page.


The following papers were presented at the conference. Where presentations and papers are available for download, this is indicated and they are available in either MS Word, PDF or Powerpoint.


If you have difficulty with the downloads  please contact Dr Tom MoorePlease note that permission to cite this material should be obtained directly from individual authors.



Thursday 13 March 2014


  • Keith Edwards (CIH Wales): The Jumping off point: joined-up housing solutions in Wales, PRESENTATION
  • Tom Moore (University of St Andrews): What can community-led housing tell us about big society and localism? Perspectives on community land trusts
  • Richard Lang (Johannes Kepler University Linz): Co-operative housing in Austria: social innovation ‘from above’, PRESENTATION
  • Antonia Layard (University of Bristol): The Legal Geography of Unaffordable Housebuilding, PRESENTATION
  • David Manley (University of Bristol): “It’s all the fault of my parents”: Intergenerational perspectives on socio-spatial exclusion and the need to think in the longer-term, PRESENTATION
  • Jenny Muir (Queens University Belfast): Choice and voice? The implications of localism for social housing allocations policy and tenant participation across the UK, PRESENTATION

Friday 14 March 2014

  • David Orr (National Housing Federation): The bedroom tax and its impact on future housing decision-making, PRESENTATION
  • Keith Dryburgh (Citizens’ Advice Scotland): Voices from the frontline: welfare reform and social housing tenants, PRESENTATION
  • Peter Wells (Sheffield Hallam University): Financialisation and the big society: what is it and is it happening?, PRESENTATION
  • Tobias Jung (University of St Andrews): Philanthropy, Philanthrocapitalism and Philanthropreneurs: providing foundations?, PRESENTATION
  • Colleen Rowan (Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations): CCHA’s – Keeping it Local and Keeping it Real!, PRESENTATION
  • Kim McKee (University of St Andrews): Big Society, Localism and the Future of Social Housing: Concluding Remarks, PRESENTATION