mixed tenure

A key component of change in several of the GoWell study areas is tenure restructuring to produce mixed tenure, mixed income communities as a replacement or adaptation of existing mono-tenure, social housing areas.

The goal of achieving such mixed communities has become the predominant approach to development and regeneration strategies over the past decade or so, and is now clearly expressed in housing policy, in general statements of urban policy and regeneration strategy, as well as in planning guidance.

Through a range of impacts on the local economy and service environment, on individual and group behaviours, on community functioning, and on the social image of a place, mixed tenure communities are intended to be more sustainable into the future.

Key findings to date relating to this outcome are summarised below.

Evidence reviews

We have conducted a series of studies to examine the evidence for the effects of mixed tenure and our review of the UK research on mixed tenure communities found that the evidence for positive effects was generally of poor quality and very variable in its findings. Moreover, many studies did not specify what levels and kinds of mix they had investigated, therefore making it hard for policy-makers and practitioners to identify how to replicate any positive effects that had been found.

Source: Mixed Messages about Mixed Tenure: Do Reviews Tell the Real Story? Bond et al (2012) (external link) and 
Mixed evidence on mixed tenure effects: findings from a systematic review of UK Studies, 1995-2009 - Sautkina et al (2012) (external link)

Glasgow context

Unlike the rest of the UK, owner occupation remains a minority-tenure in Glasgow, although it has been growing in size, comprising the following share of dwellings/households at the last three censuses: 36% in 1991; 49% in 2001; 44% in 2011. The recent reduction in owner occupation has been due to a rise in private renting in the city, to 19% of all dwellings in 2011.

At the same time, more of the city’s previous council housing estates have become mixed tenure, with around a quarter of the city’s datazones (spatial units used for official statistics) comprising around two-thirds social rented housing and one-third owner occupation.


Using crime data supplied by The Scottish Police Force, we calculated crime rates for datazones in Glasgow for 2001 and 2008. We then analysed these in relation to five types of housing tenure structures across Glasgow’s datazones, controlling for the social structure and deprivation of areas. The effects of housing tenure structure were different in the two years. In 2001, property crime rates were lower in areas where social renting was the majority tenure, and higher in areas with greater residential turnover.

In 2008, rates of violent crime were higher in all areas that were not dominated by owner occupation, and this effect was greatest in areas where social renting was the majority tenure. However, the strongest neighbourhood structural influences upon crime in both years were the level of income deprivation in an area, and the number of licensed alcohol outlets. 

Source:  Neighbourhood structures and crime: The influence of tenure mix and other structural factors upon local crime rates - Livingston et al (2013) (external link)


We examined educational performance data for Glasgow’s secondary schools for 2011 in relation to the characteristics of the catchment area for each school. We found that a 10% increase in the proportion of owner occupied dwellings in a school’s catchment area was associated with (i) a 30% increase in the likelihood that a pupil would achieve five standard grades at credit level, and (ii) a 24% increase in the likelihood that a pupil would enter higher education after school. These effects were especially present in those schools with a deprived pupil intake.


We analysed data from the Scottish Health Survey 1998 and 2003 for the four largest Scottish cities, including Glasgow, looking at a range of health outcomes covering physical health, mental health and health behaviours. We then related these outcomes to a measure of the tenure mix of datazones as at 2001, controlling for age, sex, personal risk factors (such as marital, employment and smoking status) and area deprivation.

The most noteable effects upon health that we observed were the following: poor self-rated health was twice as likely in areas with a significant social rented sector (at least 25%); admission to hospital for accidental injury was more than twice as likely in either areas with a significant private rented sector (around a quarter of the dwellings) or areas where social renting was the majority tenure (around two-thirds of the dwellings); and hospital admission for alcohol-related conditions was nearly four times as likely in areas with majority social renting.

Source:  Healthy Mixing? Investigating the associations between neighbourhood housing, tenure mix and health outcomes for urban residents - Lawder et al (2013) (external link)

Resident satisfaction

We conducted qualitative research with residents in mixed tenure neighbourhoods in Castlemilk, Drumchapel and New Gorbals in order to find out whether residents were positive or negative in their views about mixed tenure, and also whether the way in which the tenures were mixed on the ground had any influence on their views.

We found that most residents were positive about living in mixed tenure situations, but that owner occupiers tended to qualify their support in some way. The most positive views were expressed by those who lived in neighbourhoods where the tenures were spatially integrated (i.e. tenures mixed within streets and buildings). Those who lived in segregated configurations (i.e. tenures separated by a major access road within an estate) generally had mixed or negative views about tenure mixing. Those who lived in integrated or segmented neighbourhoods (i.e. different tenures in adjacent cul-de-sacs) were more likely to report cross-tenure social interactions than those who lived in segregated neighbourhoods.

Source:  How to mix? Spatial configurations, modes of production and resident perceptions of mixed tenure neighbourhoods - Kearns et al (2013) (external link); Residents’ perspectives on mixed tenure communities and Policy-maker and practitioner perspectives on mixed tenure communities