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Landlord and tenant in the uk - Essay Example

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This paper is concerned specifically with security f tenure and housing-related empowerment, and this can be defined as any process by which people gain increased control over their housing situation. Such control can be individual or collective, over production or consumption, over investment or management…
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Landlord and tenant in the uk
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Download file to see previous pages The paper starts by distinguishing empowerment from participation, and makes a number f comments relating to the recent literature on tenant participation in particular. It is argued that there is a need for a more rigorous examination f empowerment processes, and in the following section an attempt is made to devise a typology f such processes which is completely different from any typology f tenant participation processes. This typology is then applied in the following sector to important recent developments in Britain which have involved, or have been claimed to involve, the empowerment f residents. Specific means f empowerment which are considered include the provision f information, the passing f legislation, the commitment f resources, and the transfer f management functions. The final section f the paper then briefly discusses the implications f the arguments on empowerment for the development f communities and the changing role f housing management.
As Harrison (1995,p. 22) points out, "empowerment clearly means more than ... participation", but it may be worth considering just how much more empowerment does involve. People may participate individually or collectively in an activity without thereby experiencing any increase in their control over their lives. This can happen if those who control that activity simply want to use the participation for their own ends. For example, they may want to make themselves hefter informed on a subject f which the participants have special knowledge, or they may merely want to go through the motions f participation without taking seriously the participants' contributions. They may want to promote an image f themselves as "listening to the people" but without any real commitment to the empowerment f those people. Participation without empowerment is therefore a confidence trick performed by the controllers f an activity on participants in that activity. To the extent to which the trick works, it must be disempowering rather than empowering. Those who take this cynical approach, however, should bear in mind the arguments f Foucault (1980), to the effect that simply entering into discussion about what can or cannot be done is itself an empowering process, so that those who initiate participation, even with disempowering intent, may find themselves forced or influenced to act in ways which they had not originally intended.
Bearing in mind the above caveat, there is in fact a good deal f overlap between participation and empowerment. For example, mechanisms for consultation clearly involve the participation f those consulted, but the participants are also empowered to the extent to which attention is paid to their views and concerns. This argument is obviously stronger with regard to the forms f participation where participants can hold decision makers to account for what they do and where participants have some say in the decision making process itself. In these cases, the specificity f ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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