Since the late 1980s, the UK has been a testing bed for new models of socal housing. Policies to reshape and reduce the council housing sector have followed objectives to do with refinancing but also quasi-market goals, including stronger tenant responsiveness and performance efficiency incentives. Two particular models are analysed here: the stock transfer of council housing en masse with tenants in situ to housing associations (i.e. stock transfer) and the development of arms length management organisations (ALMOs). This paper reports a natural experiment format comparing 4 such organisations (two ALMOs and two stock transfers) who transferred engagements from their respective councils at a similar point in time and all in the same region of England. Why did they decide to change and in the form adopted? How well have they performed aganst their business plans and promises to their tenants? What lessons can we draw about organisational models, policy e ffectiveness, tenant participation and future options for the non-maket sector?