Latest News from the National Housing Federation

Gill Payne provides an update:

As you may be aware, Rural Housing Week takes place from 3-7 July. The week provides a great opportunity to showcase the fantastic work that you do in rural communities. The theme this year is Delivering the Ambition, and feeds into our Ambition to Deliver work.

With the snap General Election taking place a month before Rural Housing Week, we’re doing things a bit differently this year. Below are some ways in which you can get involved both before and after the election.

Underpinning Rural Housing Week this year is our 5-star plan for rural housing which we’ve developed in consultation with members. We’ll be formally launching this at the Rural Housing Conference at the end of Rural Housing Week. You can email us now to pledge your support for the plan.

Preparing for Rural Housing Week ahead of the General Election
As part of our General Election campaign, we’re asking members to contact candidates and build or reaffirm relationships with politicians. You know your local areas better than anyone and will be the best judge of who to contact and how to contact them, and whether it’s better to do this alone or with other housing associations.

Wherever possible it would be really valuable to invite candidates to your sites, or any particular projects you want to highlight, and remind them of the great work you do. Showing candidates a local scheme now will help you to build a relationship early, and make it easier for you to go back to them after the election to set up another visit in Rural Housing Week.

Examples of activity you can plan
We’re encouraging you to start setting up events now for Rural Housing Week – there are some suggestions on our website of some of the things that you could do. They include:

• briefing events for MPs
• parties and celebrations
• writing blogs and case studies on your website and social media channels about the work you do
• preparing to invite MPs for a scheme visit.

Of course you won’t be able to invite your new or re-elected MP until after the election, but you can still do all of the preparatory work to set up the events for Rural Housing Week.

What we’ll be doing after the General Election
Rural Housing Week will be a fantastic opportunity to engage early with new and re-elected MPs following the election. We’ll provide an influencing pack soon after the election which will contain advice on how to engage with MPs at the events you’ve organised. We are also working on:

• a national news story which will show that where affordable housing has been built, community services have remained open and are thriving
• providing a template press release and letter to editors which you can use for local press.

We’re hosting the Rural Housing Conference on 7 July which rounds off the week, and where we will be formally launching the 5-star plan.

Following the conference, when we hope to have full buy-in for the 5-star plan, we’ll be developing a strategy for how we can use it to influence politicians, supported by the message that we are a strong unified sector.

If you have any queries about any of the above, please contact Peter French or Monica Burns.

Gill Payne
Executive Director of Public Impact
National Housing Federation