Fifteen housing organisations came 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
  • Tpas
  • ARCH
  • NFA
  • Broadland Housing Association
  • Homes in Sedgemoor
  • Riverside

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