#housingday 2014: share your stories

Today we are sharing new and untold real life housing stories

by Ade Capon

Right now across the UK housing organisations and their tenants are tweeting, Face booking and You tubing their housing stories.

This is our focus for #HousingDay 2014 – promoting the creation of new and untold housing stories. To be shared and in effect crowd sourced under a hash tag campaign. Only by housing organisations ever engaging with their tenants and customers will we be able to compile a compelling housing narrative. Not from our point view but from theirs.

We are aiming to tackle negative portrayals of those who live in council, social or affordable housing as well as those on benefits through programmes like ‘Benefits Street’. #HousingDay 2014 is an opportunity to challenge these negative perceptions and present an alternative narrative of how social housing supports and enables people to fulfil ambitions and transform their lives for the better.

As #housingstories supporter John Popham said: “Mainstream media has a view of UK housing. All of us have a computer in our pocket that can tell a different story.”

John is currently undertaking an 800 mile round road trip to help housing organisations do exactly this by visiting six housing organisations. You can see how this is going and stories being shared.

Today we also launch our social housing research findings with Ben Marshall from Ipsos Mori. They make for interesting reading, discussion and use. #HousingDay provides an opportunity to facilitate the conversation we need to have with policy-makers, the media and the public. I believe in the importance of audience insights as a vital foundation to effective story-telling.

I want to champion and see more approaches like these taken by Helena Partnerships and Halton Housing, which can help create a movement of change in housing communications. Their #HousingDay blogs are testament to what can be achieved by putting tenants and customers foremost in our approach. As Helena’s Caroline King said “In my view we should hand this job over to our customers and let them sell the message of housing.”

There has already been some amazing videos created and shared in the build up. We are looking to find the best ones with the most compelling stories which can be made into a TV documentary. This is the next stage of the story telling journey.

#HousingDay will only work if everyone in housing can get behind it and enthusiasm to sustain it. It’s a simple call to action for everyone to shout about what they do, and what their residents do.

Please drop on by and follow @HousingDay for the latest tweets and sharing examples of what housing folk are up to on #HousingDay 12 November 2014.

A HousingDay tag board also captures neatly the buzz, excitement and stories too.

Thanks for all those people who have supported the campaign so far and let’s shout from the roof tops.

Adrian Capon is a member of Yorkshire Housing’s Communications team.

pic via Wikimedia Commons