Challenge public perceptions, says NHF

Public perceptions of housing associations must be challenged and changed, according to the NHF.


Housing professionals will be urged to use all form of media to win the battle of hearts and minds of everyone from the public to politicians.

NHF chief executive David Orr will tell the annual communications and marketing conference that members must focus work on “seizing the opportunity to change the narrative around housing associations”.

It comes a year after the launch of the lobbying and campaign strategy Owning Our Own Future and a perception audit of national MPs that revealed limited knowledge of the sector.

HAs will be urged to use TV interview opportunities, local press and social media as part of media campaigns designed to promote their brands and reputations.

The call for better communications work came as Soha Housing launched an online media campaign to challenge media stereotypes of people living in social housing. It released a short media clip featuring a testimonial by a tenant linked to the social media tag #RealPeopleTrueStories.

A crux issue for HAs is explaining and defending their social values.

Orr, in his own blog, revealed the NHF is changing to tackle social issues beyond the sector’s core remit.

“For those of us who care about social housing, it is not enough to think about social housing. It’s not enough to think about rented housing, or any other kind of housing, essential though that is,” he said.

“We, more than most, have the chance to make a difference to gender and other kinds of societal inequality, to peace, justice and strong institutions and to creating places that are strong, confident, economically secure and safe and healthy for everyone.”

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