Creating sustainable communities through tenure-mix: the responsibilisation of marginal homeowners in Scotland
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The idea that the deprived communities of the UK’s towns and cities are ‘unsustainable’ has been a central theme of government housing policy since New Labour came into power in 1997. The creation of ‘mixed-tenure communities’ has been heralded by some policy makers as a key component of creating sustainable communities by overcoming concentrations of deprivation as well as creating responsible citizens who make few demands on the state. Since devolution, support for owner-occupation has been promoted by both Scottish Labour and SNP regimes as a regeneration tool, and has been included in the Local Housing Strategy of many local authorities in Scotland. Drawing on research in Glasgow, this paper achieves three things. First, it highlights the ethopolitics associated with the identities of owner-occupiers and social rented tenants as skilled or flawed consumers; second, it explores the tools used in recent years to create mixed communities through encouraging owner-occupation; and third, it questions the continued uncritical support of the insertion of owner-occupiers into deprived areas as a regeneration and responsiblisation tool.
KeywordsAffordability Ethopolitics Governance Housing Regeneration
The empirical data is drawn from doctoral research funded by the ESRC. The authors would like to thank the two referees who made helpful comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper. The authors would also like to acknowledge Professor John Flint for his comments and support. The authors would also like to highlight that the views expressed in the paper are their own, and do not reflect the views of South Ayrshire Council in any way.
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