GWSF has existed as a forum of community-controlled housing associations since the mid-1970s, originally operating within the structure of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations. It became an independent, staffed membership body in the wake of the Glasgow stock transfer in 2003 and the subsequent efforts to progress second-stage transfer. GWSF currently has 65 member associations, around two-thirds of these operating in Glasgow.

History of community-controlled housing in Scotland

Community-controlled housing associations and co-operatives (CCHAs) were first set up in Glasgow in the early 1970s, to tackle slum conditions in run-down, inner-city neighbourhoods. The CCHA and co-operative movement has grown rapidly since then, to tackle a wide range of housing needs in Glasgow and elsewhere. For example:

  • Town centre regeneration in places like Paisley, Greenock, Clydebank and Barrhead
  • Transforming poor housing conditions in unpopular, low-demand, municipal housing estates
  • Smaller-scale, local transfers of houses owned by councils, Scottish Homes and Glasgow Housing Association to local community ownership
  • New-build housing for both rent and low-cost home ownership, to provide more housing variety and choice within local neighbourhoods

Community-controlled housing today

Community-controlled housing associations and co-operatives exist in many parts of Scotland, but most are based in local communities in west-central Scotland.

  • Today there are around 70 community-controlled housing organisations in the west of Scotland – almost half of the total number of active housing associations in Scotland
  • Community-controlled housing associations and co-operatives own about one in three of all social rented houses in the west of Scotland, providing homes for around 88,000 households
  • Community-owned housing grew significantly in 2011, following a large number of successful tenant ballots in Glasgow
  • CCHAs now provide landlord or factoring services for more than one in four of all households in Glasgow