This year, it’s been my pleasure to coordinate our annual Community Impact Week. Reading through all the entries to the Community Impact Awards has reiterated just how important housing associations are in their local neighbourhoods.
Helen Jeffery is Digital Officer at the National Housing Federation
12 October 2017
Recent Government announcements promising welcome investment in new social homes has re-established the role of social housing in the wider housing market. But we know that housing associations are more than just house builders.
They’re community builders too.
But how much do local politicians know about your community work? It’s crucial that you’re recognised for this alongside building and managing homes.
Community Impact Week, running from 6-12 November, is a chance to highlight and celebrate neighbourhood investment projects run by housing associations across the country.
It’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the positive difference you make to people’s lives, and this year we’re asking you to invite your local MPs and other stakeholders to visit your community projects. As we found with our work on Owning our Future, telling our story and what sets us apart from private developers works – the more MPs know about housing associations, they more they like us!
By inviting them to visit your community schemes, your local politicians will be able to hear first-hand from their constituents about the impact the services you provide have on their lives, and meet the staff who make it possible.
We’ve planned Community Impact Week to coincide with Parliamentary recess, so MPs are likely to be in their constituencies all week. But why not also get in touch with your local councillors, lead or cabinet member for housing and Mayors and ask them to come along too?
If you have something planned, order your free Community Impact Week supporter board for sharing in photos. Just email us your postal address and we'll send you one in time for the week.
But it’s not just politicians who need to hear about your work. You can also share your stories with the public online, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #CIW17. You could share photos of residents using your services, and include written or video testimonies of the real impact it has on their lives.
We’ve also announced the shortlist for the Community Impact Awards today. I’d like to thank everyone who entered the awards this year and shared their projects with us. Just like every year, the panel of expert judges has been blown away by the high quality of entries and had a tough time putting the shortlist together. I’m really excited to see which projects win when voting opens to the public during Community Impact Week.
Whether you arrange a visit, share a story online or vote in the awards, I hope you’ll join us this year in making Community Impact Week a success.
Voting will open on 6 November at ciw.housing.org.uk – be sure to vote for your favourite project during the week.