Douglas is a highly skilled social researcher specialising in housing policy evaluation. For 30 years Douglas taught both housing and sociology at the Stirling University. His research work has embraced a variety of housing practices, most recently private tenancy laws and their regulation, public policy, social theory and its links to place, belonging and identity, conceptions of ‘home’, private flatted property management systems, European social housing, and Scottish housing and planning history. Retains a long-standing interest in tenements and the challenge of ensuring their proper management and maintenance.
Douglas’s research specialisms include: project scoping, method development, bidding and costings; project planning and management; qualitative interviewing; focus groups selection, execution and reporting; literature reviews; technical surveys; sampling; and statistical analysis. Douglas has also authored three research methods texts designed as practical guides for housing and social work practitioners.
In regard to practical housing experience, for 20 years, Douglas served on the management committee of Partick Housing Association, and during that time held positions on both the Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations. He was invited to chair the Scottish Government’s PRS Strategy Group whose recommendations fed into three housing Act’s: Private Rented Housing (Scotland) Act, 2011, the Housing (Scotland) Act, 2014 and the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act, 2016.
As well as regularly contributing to both practitioner and academic conferences, Douglas is often invited to comment on housing matters for a range of media, including television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
Douglas holds an Honours degree in Geography, from the University of Aberdeen, and a PhD in Social Science from the University of Glasgow for his study of the city’s pioneering tenement improvement programme. He also holds an Honorary Professorship at Stirling.
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