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Smashing Silly Stereotypes moves forward 12/04/2017

ARCH is supporting a campaign to promote a positive image of social housing and great progress is being made. 


Jenny Hill, chair of ARCH Tenants' Group, and Carole Halfacre, the ARCH group facilitator, represent ARCH on the campaign steering group. Although it's still early days, there has been a lot of progress in putting the campaign together. Catch up below.



The campaign received very positive talks with the London School of Economics (Anne Power) and with a community based organisation. They are in the process of getting two alternative approaches which the steering group will look at. This will involve participatory research with tenants to look at the source and the impact of the stigma of living in social housing. The campaign expects to have this by theend of April.The idea would be to have something in time for the CIH conference in June, where the campaign will have a slot on the main fringe stage. 



Work in developing a media campaign took an unexpected turn as TPAS identified an opportunity through a competition run by the Media Trust. Representatives from the steering group took part in events at Ad Week Europe and gave a brief to a group of creatives from ad agencies and from Facebook who in turn pitched to a panel later in the week. Watch the presentation. (NB Forward video to 12 minutes to gain a quick overview of the campaign).


The media campaign will focus on the theme of Benefit to Society and would be aimed at the current negative stereotyping of social housing tenants, without repeating it. The idea is to 'hijack' the narrative and turn it into something positive. The campaign would build on the research findings and aim to show the benefits that tenants bring through their work, their caring role, their volunteering etc.


A piece of rather exciting news is that the creatives will continue to support the steering group in developing this campaign. Facebook has gone further and will provide some funding towards extending its reach with £5,000 of advertising credits.


The idea is that the media campaign will be prepared to launch in September, around Housing Day.


Work with the media

The campaign co-ordinator is working on an initiative to provide journalists with easy access to good images and interviews around social housing and is meeting with a NUJ rep in April to see if there is mileage in developing a guide for journalists (along the lines of the Church Action on Poverty guidance) about writing stories on social housing and tenants and setting up a joint asset bank where journalists could easily access great images of homes and people as well as access to tenants who have agreed to be interviewed.


Tenant involvement

Tenants are actively involved in the steering group and it is proposed to involve particular people in leading the different strands of the campaign and to provide training and support to give tenants the skills and confidence to speak in public and to speak with the media so that the Campaign has a good range of people who can be the public face of the work.


If your council would like to support the campaign directly then do get in touch with Catherine Little, campaign co-ordinator at South Oxfordshire Housing Association via email at or call 0123 5515 900.

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