#Housing Day 2015
Putting tenants at the heart of #HousingDay 18 November 2015
At up to 3,000 tweets per hour #HousingDay 2014 travelled at nearly the speed of a comet. The housing sector and its tenants came together for a truly amazing social media event. It produced a staggering 30,000 tweets and countless real stories, trending on Twitter all day. It peaked at number two behind #cometlanding with 6,000 contributors, reaching a potential audience of seven million people.
Amidst the negative noise around social housing, we must ensure our collective voice is heard. Our focus for #HousingDay 2015 is to share stories of why our tenants are proud to live in their homes and communities. By putting them at the heart of #HousingDay we can help start to build a new narrative.
We’ve borrowed the simple ‘Proud to be a Tenant’campaign from Berneslai Homes and given it a national platform. The challenge is to encourage tenants to explain why they are proud to be tenants of social housing and the difference it has made to their lives. Jenny Osbourne, CEO of TPAS was one of the first to get on board. She said: “For me the key this year is tenants taking centre stage, with the #proudtenant campaign within #Housingday. They rightly should do so with no spin and no filter. Tenants telling it, like it is about their experiences of living in social housing. We need more tenants to get involved. To be successful it needs to cut through the PR stories and hear the real ones. Our tenants are the key to ensure we regain the story in order to humanise, not demonise the sector.”
The recent Scrutiny Live report underlines how important this work is. Its first key finding was that: “Tenants have valuable opinions and insight – not being heard in national policy debate. It is the duty of, and in the interests of, housing providers to support their tenants to get their voices heard.” The second main finding was that: “The biggest barrier to successful social housing is the attitude of the press,
politicians and public to social housing tenants.”
This year, we will be looking to find at least 50 social tenant volunteers via social media and to connect them together. This will provide a springboard for further networking and campaigning. Why are your tenants proud to live in their homes or neighbourhoods?
Last year’s #HousingDay research carried out in conjunction with Ipsos Mori’s Ben Marshall painted a picture of a British public favourable to social housing. By five to one they agreed rather than disagreed that social housing plays an important role in tackling poverty but many remain oblivious to the types of people who live in social housing. We will again be looking at research opportunities around #HousingDay, so if you have any ideas, get in touch.
Wider week of campaigning
This year #HousingDay will link up and be part of the National Housing Federation’s Community Impact Week (16 – 22 November). The Federation is organising a full week of activities focusing on good practice and highlighting the difference we make to communities.
Landlords and tenants are in this together, we need to include genuine tenant voices. If you have any one who wants to be involved, get in touch via @HousingDay and we will share proud tenant stories on 18 November.