Find out about the campaigns the Federation has organised in the past.
100,000 Affordable Homes for London
As Londoners prepared to vote for their new Mayor of London in May 2016, the Federation launched the 100,000 Affordable Homes for London campaign. The newly elected mayor would have more powers than any previous mayor to build new housing in London. All mayoral candidates put housing at the heart of their election campaigns as the housing crisis was the top issue for voters going to the polls to choose their new Mayor of London.
Our campaign responded to this unique opportunity by telling candidates that housing associations are ready to work with the new mayor to build 100,000 affordable homes for London during his or her term of office. To Londoners struggling with the scarcity of genuinely affordable homes, we said ‘you have a future in London’ – if the mayor works with housing associations, who are ready and able to build 100,000 affordable homes.
Bristol needs a Mayor for Homes
Bristol is widely regarded as a great place to live, having been voted by the Sunday Times in 2014 as the best city to live in. With demand for homes increasingly outstripping supply, rising rents and house prices are pushing the market beyond the reach of local people – particularly those on lower or average incomes.
In the run up to the mayoral election on 5 May 2016, the Bristol Mayor for Homes campaign brought together key partners from across the city, with the shared aim of galvanising Bristol's next mayor to work with us to tackle the housing crisis head on. The coalition behind the campaign are now working with Bristol's new Mayor to tackle housing issues in the city. The campaign partners included housing associations, representatives of the business community, and important advocate agencies for tenants, all calling for a commitment to real change.
Homes for Britain
When we launched the Homes for Britain campaign at the National Housing Federation’s annual conference, we wanted one thing: to transform the political debate to make housing a central issue for the election.
And guess what? That’s exactly what happened. Here’s a breakdown of what we did with Homes for Britain and what the campaign achieved.
Yes to Homes
The solution to England’s housing crisis is to build more of the right homes, in the right place, at the right price. Decisions about new homes are made locally, by local people and local councillors. While councillors are the ones that hold the keys to unlocking this problem, they need their residents to tell them it matters.
The pro-housing voice is often crowded out or non-existent in many of the local debates on housing. In some parts of the country, local councillors only ever hear about opposition to new homes. The Yes to Homes campaign began to change that. For a councillor, the most powerful way of hearing about a local issue is from a resident. As part of the Yes to Homes campaign, thousands of people emailed their local councillors to say Yes to Homes in their community..
Yes to Homes was backed by over 600 councillors from across the political parties and 10 councils passed our council motion.
In 2011, the Coalition Government proposed new legislation to introduce Housing Benefit size restrictions in social housing (often termed by opponents as the Bedroom Tax or under-occupation penalty).
Under the rules having one bedroom more than the calculated allowance would lead to a reduction in Housing Benefit of 14%, and two bedrooms would lead to a 25% reduction.
The Federation campaigned against this change to Housing Benefit which disproportionately affected housing association tenants. The campaign helped persuaded Peers to oppose the proposal during the passage of the Welfare Reform Bill however the reduced in Housing Benefit came into force on 1 April 2013.
Localism Act – Democratic filter for resident complaints
The Localism Bill, which passed through Parliament in 2011, proposed introducing a requirement that all social housing residents put complaints in writing, and take them to an MP or local councillor before they could be referred to the Housing Ombudsman.
The Federation believed that this was an unnecessary burden on social housing residents and the elected representatives. Our campaign helped persuaded the Government to introduce a clause to the Bill which would allowed social housing residents to refer their complaints directly to Housing Ombudsman after a six week period.
Save Our Villages
In 2009, the Federation launched the ‘Save our villages’ campaign to make the case for more affordable homes in rural England.
The campaign gained official backing of 50 rural councils – half of all rural councils in England – with each pledging to take action to tackle the shortage of affordable homes in their area.
The campaign helped push affordable rural housing up the political agenda through meetings and events with MPs and relevant councillors.
We built broad and creative alliances with a number of organisations to highlight the issues facing rural communities – including the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Rural Shops Alliance, British Beer and Pub Association and National Association of Small Schools.
Ending the prepay meter rip-off
From 2006 to 2010, we led a national campaign to ensure that prepay meter customers don’t pay a penny more than quarterly billed customers. In 2006, the six million energy customers who paid up front to heat and light their homes via prepayment meters paid over £100 per year more than customers who paid quarterly for the energy. Our campaign helped remove an annual premium of over £400 million a year from the energy bills of energy suppliers’ low income customers.
An evaluation of this campaign by Firetail said "The Federation’s actions during the campaign were a significant factor in the ultimate decisions of the energy suppliers to equalise their prepayment and standard credit energy tariffs. In particular… the Federation’s political and media work caused the suppliers to reconsider the value of retaining premiums on their prepayment tariffs."