* There are no alternative options for raising large scale
investment for council housing in Scotland (eg, arms length management
that the only solution in Glasgow was transfer in some form.
* Rent levels in Birmingham are set to rise whether or not a
transfer had taken place due to the government's policies on rent
convergence, but despite this tenants may have linked projected rent
increases with the transfer proposals. In Glasgow, council rents are already
relatively high and Glasgow's tenants have been promised a rents freeze.
Housing association rents in Glasgow are generally no higher than council
* Housing conditions in the public sector are generally worse
in Glasgow than in Birmingham making the need to secure improvements even
* Glasgow's transfer vehicle has a more localised structure
than Birmingham's with 62 local organisations compared to 10 in Birmingham.
Tenants would form a majority on local boards in Glasgow, while in
Birmingham councillors and independent members would have formed a majority
* The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 has introduced a single
tenancy for social housing tenants in Scotland. In England and Wales, this
idea is only at the discussion stage as part of a Law Commission review.
Tenants in Birmingham may therefore have been concerned about moving from
secure to assured tenancies.
* Although housing debt is high in both cities, in Glasgow it
was much more significant as an issue because of the differences between
housing subsidy arrangements in England and Scotland. Glasgow tenants are
paying about 40p in every pound of their rent towards debt costs. In
Scotland, lifting the debt burden is only on offer through transfer. In
England, councils who don't transfer continue to get subsidy towards their
* In contrast to England, breakage costs (the redemption fees
charged for paying off loans early) have been written off by the Scottish
Executive. This would have helped a more attractive package to be developed
* In Scotland, local authorities who have transferred their
stock are to take on responsibility for grant funding new RSL developments
as part of their strategic role, while in England this will remain with the
Housing Corporation. This may have led to more political support for
transfer in Glasgow which indirectly fed through to tenants.
* There is a history of small scale community based transfers
in Glasgow. Only a few large scale partial transfers have previously taken
place in Birmingham. Glasgow tenants on many estates could see examples of
community-based transfer organisations that had already delivered improved
homes and services.
* The decision to go for transfer in Birmingham was highly
contentious among local councillors. Although there was a vigorous 'no'
campaign in Glasgow, there wasn't the same division in the governing party
and the Scottish executive was high profile in support of transfer.
* In Birmingham a much higher level of demolitions was
proposed than in Glasgow and tenants were concerned about what would happen
to households displaced by this. Glasgow tenants have seen demolitions
taking place already over a period of several years.
* There is a perception that the public sector unions mounted
a more effective No campaign in Birmingham than in Glasgow (see LGCnet ).