In the wake of an economic crisis and the search for innovative solutions to provide affordable housing, cooperative and community-led housing initiatives have gained increasing attention across Europe.
The social nature of their governance is seen as an advantage over other forms of housing provision when it comes to strengthening social networks, collective identity and resident participation in the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, the real potential of cooperative and community-led organisations for community empowerment is not always well understood or evidenced. Furthermore, research debates on these housing models and their wider role for society are only weakly connected within Europe. Thus, contextualised research approaches are needed to deliver a realistic picture of the capacity of cooperative and community-led housing organisations to empower residents.