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ARCH annual report


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Benefit to Society project 08/06/2017

The Smashing Silly Stereotypes campaign has been renamed and re-launched as the Benefit to Society project.


The Benefit to Society project has been created to tackle the stigma social housing tenants experience. ARCH is part of a steering group with 11 other housing organisations who aim to engage with tenants to gather their experiences and share their positive stories digitally to a highly targeted audience.


Negative public attitudes and perceptions have an impact upon social housing tenants and on public attitude to social housing. This negative stereotyping is underpinned by a general lack of understanding of the social housing tenant demographic. The Project aims to change this, by understandingwhois most likely to hold negative opinions and how they express them, directlychallengingthe media and the public who are responsible for driving negative stereotyping of social housing tenants and creating opportunities formorepositive portrayals of social housing tenants in the media.


Through qualitative and quantitative research techniques, the Project will uncover the realities of social housing tenants being stigmatised, aiming to identify the behaviours and attitudes towards people that live in social housing compared to homeowners and those that private rent.


Based on the research insight the project will run an intervention campaign that will seek to deter the public from negatively stereotyping social housing tenants and focussing on the positive benefits people who live in social housing bring to their communities.


Over the next year, the project will produce:


  • A practical style guide distributed through the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) and sent to media including the Daily Mail, Channel four, Channel Five, The Sun, Huffington Post, Guardian, The Mirror and Inside Housing - The guide is intended for journalists, communication professionals and members of the public who are seeking the appropriate and accurate language to use when writing or talking about people living in social housing.
  • A You Gov Research dataset that the public attitudes of social housing tenants and a sense of what might change negative views.
  • An London School of Econimics research report exploring the causes and impact of stigma
  • A digital campaign to reach 2.1 million social media accounts aimed at key demographics identified in the research report.


As well as the general public, the steering group believes that the media, government and the social housing sector itself all need to be challenged in the way they represent social housing tenants.


The steering group are seeking a small number of new sponsoring organisations to support this important work. They particularly welcome council housing teams and ALMOs to take part, ensuring this is a truly cross-sector initiative.


For more information on the project, please email Catherine Little, campaign coordinator, at

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