Building Momentum

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How the Benefit to Society campaign is building momentum

Over the last few weeks we have had the opportunity to present the campaign for Benefit to Society to Housing professionals around the UK. The launch took place at the recent Chartered Institute for Housing (CIH) Conference in Manchester on 28 June 2017, followed by the TPAS Awards in early July. Last week a group of tenants met with housing staff and National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to better understand the impact that negative press has on social tenants.  The NUJ are now producing a Benefit to Society Journalists Guide and we will continue to work with them on producing a library of images that better reflect social housing and their tenants.

Last week a small group of us met at Facebook head office to talk about the research conducted by our commissioned YouGov Poll and to plan the national launch with support and help from the Facebook team and Media Trust .

This is an exciting time as we build momentum, we will continue to encourage other Housing Organisations to join the campaign and for tenants to step forward and lend us their voice.

If you would like to take part and join the campaign please sign up to our mailing list.

We need your voice

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We need your voice to help us get fair press for Social Housing Tenants. 12 Housing Organisations, are working with the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) to produce a journalists guide on how to report fairly and responsibly on social housing and social housing tenants.

If you would like to be involved, please complete this survey: Fair Press for Social Housing.

The survey can be completed anonymously or you can choose to leave your details.


Behind the scenes

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Fifteen housing organisations have come together to tackle the stigma created by negative stereotypes of social housing tenants.
In 2016, we launched the project with a fringe meeting at the CIH conference. Speakers included Professor Danny Dorling and the Lord Mayor of Manchester. From this, we took away a group of associations that wanted more involvement.

We ran two discussion groups of officers and tenants towards the end of 2016. This provided a great basis on which to move forward. It set parameters for what we felt we could and couldn’t achieve and set the strong challenge that we need a clear, identifiable aim and a call to action to involve people in the work.

The project is being steered by a group of tenants and officers. We now have four strands, with an overarching aim to end the negative stereotypes of social housing tenants.

1. Tenant empowerment

This theme runs throughout the project. Tenants are on the steering group and involved in making decisions about what we do.
We also want to prepare tenants to be the face of the campaign and to feel equipped to speak at conferences and to the media. Training and support will be a key part of this.

2. Research

We will commission a piece of participatory research looking at the impact of stereotypes on individuals and exploring where the stereotypes are perpetuated, for example looking at media, real life and landlord contributions.

3. Campaign – Benefit to Society

Through the Media Trust, we took part in ‘From Brief to Output’ at the Advertising Week Europe event in March.
This has led to a concept for a campaign which aims to ‘hijack’ the negative stereotypes and turn them around. We are delighted to be supported by a number of creative agencies and by Facebook, who will provide creative input and some financial backing through advertising space on their platform.

4. Work with journalists

We are exploring working with a contact at the NUJ to produce some guidance for journalists who want to write and report responsibly about how they could / should
talk about social housing tenants. This is likely to be coupled with a readily available ‘bank’ of great images of social housing and tenants and of access to tenants willing to be interviewed. We see this element as dovetailing neatly with the research strand.

  • Amicus Horizon
  • Bolton at Home
  • Progress Housing Group
  • Red Kite Community Housing
  • Rochdale Boroughwide Housing
  • Soha Housing
  • South Yorkshire Housing Association
  • Town & Country Housing Group
  • Wythenshawe Community Housing Group
  • Tpas
  • ARCH
  • NFA
  • Broadland Housing Association
  • Homes in Sedgemoor
  • Riverside