Qualitative research

Often our survey work raises issues that require further in-depth research in order to develop better understanding or explanations.

In order to pursue these issues, we also conduct qualitative research with residents, participants and practitioners involved in the interventions or living in the study areas.

Governance, participation and empowerment study

The idea that communities should be involved in processes of change within their areas is now central to housing policy, regeneration policy and health strategies. The governance, participation and empowerment study is a qualitative study of community involvement and empowerment in three areas of regeneration:

Social housing management and ownership

This involved the analysis of policy documents, academic articles and media commentaries on Glasgow’s housing stock transfer over the period 1999-2007, together with in-depth interviews with 20 policy makers and practitioners at national and city level who were closely involved in the development and implementation of stock transfer policy for the city.

The findings from this study have been published in:

Kearns A, Lawson L. '(De)constructing a policy "failure": housing stock transfer in Glasgow' Evidence and Policy 2009; 5(4): 449-470

Kearns A, Lawson L. 'Housing stock transfer in Glasgow – the first five years. A study of policy implementation'. Housing Studies 2008; 23(6): 857-878

Local Housing Organisation management committees

This research involved conducting focus groups with the management committees of nine Local Housing Organisations (LHOs) in 2006-7. The LHOs included three types: forum, CBHA-linked, and one former tenant managed co-op (TMC). The LHOs had existed for up to four years at the time of the research.

 The findings from this research have been published in:

Lawson L, Kearns A. 'Community empowerment in the context of the Glasgow housing stock transfer' Urban Studies 2010; 47(7): 1459-1478

Community engagement in regeneration

This research was focused on the three Transformational Regeneration Areas included in GoWell to examine whether the regeneration proposals for the areas were influenced by the views of the community, and/or whether the community felt that they had an adequate say in what was happening in their areas. The study comprised: examination of documents provided by Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) and the relevant LHOs; interviews with GHA and LHO staff responsible for regeneration and/or community engagement; interviews with consultants who worked with the communities to develop regeneration masterplans; focus groups with the residents’ group in each area who worked with the consultants; focus groups with other residents in each area; interviews with individual residents in each area.

The findings from this study are reported in:

Lawson L, Kearns A. 'Community engagement in regeneration: are we getting the point?' Journal of Housing and the Built Environment 2010; 25(1): 19-36

Lawson L, Kearns A. ‘Rethinking the purpose of community empowerment in neighbourhood regeneration: the need for policy clarity Local Economy 2014

Briefing Paper 6: Community engagement in the initial planning of Regeneration in Glasgow provides a summary of this work.

Briefing paper 13: Community empowerment in transformational regeneration and local housing management in Glasgow: meaning, relevance, challenges and policy recommendations provides a synthesis from all the above studies.

‘Lived realities’ study

Our ‘lived realities’ study is a longitudinal qualitative study investigating how residents are affected by ‘transformational regeneration’ over time. By ‘lived realities’ we mean a rich and textured description of the everyday, through focusing on the experiences, perceptions, expectations and aspirations of residents as they live through major regeneration. The study focuses on a relatively small sample (23 households at baseline), and explores in-depth how residents experience living through major change in their neighbourhoods.

The first wave of interviews were conducted with the 23 households in 2011 and the findings from this first phase of the study are reported in two separate reports. The first report 'Residents' lived realities of transformational regeneration’ focuses on the behavioural, social and psychological impacts on the residents, and also describes residents’ hopes and expectations regarding relocation to new houses and areas in the near future. The second report 'Residents' perspectives of health and its social contexts' explores whether residents believe that their residential environment (including home and neighbourhood) influences their experience of health.

A second wave of interviews were conducted in 2012, at which point most of the households who took part in these interviews had been rehoused from their original area. A third and final round of interviews will be conducted in 2014.