Build the relationships we need

Our interviews with politicians showed that the sector currently has no instinctive political allies – although both right and left see us playing a crucial role in Britain’s housing future and are there to be won over.

The interviews also revealed that, on all sides of the political spectrum, politicians who interact most with housing associations tend to like us more. Engaging and telling our story works.

This presents us with a clear challenge and opportunity: we need to reposition the sector to become trusted partners of those who have the greatest influence over our future.

Many housing associations already have great relationships with local politicians. Now we need to turn those strong foundations into a sector-wide strategy to transform perceptions and build the relationships we need.

Here’s how you can do that.

Meet with your local politicians to share our story

At its heart, building relationships is simple. It’s about getting to know your local partners and making sure they understand not just your business, but the sector you’re part of.

So if you do nothing else for Owning our Future, set up a meeting with your local MPs and take along a copy of the refreshed Ambition to Deliver, which sets out our shared story and vision for politicians. We’ve developed some best practice guides to help you do that.

Conduct a power analysis using our new online tool

It’s not always easy to pinpoint the stakeholders you most need to meet with, particularly in such rapidly changing times and with devolution continuing apace. We’ve created a digital tool to help you work through the concrete steps you need to develop impactful influencing plans.

Apply or nominate for our Influencing Academy

We’re launching a new, annual Influencing Academy where people interested in leading this work to transform perceptions of the sector can learn from the very best. Places are limited, so find out more how to apply or nominate someone to take part.

Come to a communications network

If you work in communications or public affairs, or do this on behalf of your organisation, come along to one of our regional communications networks or our Public Affairs Network where we’ll be running workshops on creative ways to get the story out there. We’ll also be talking about Owning our Future at other member forums, so if you don’t work in communications, contact us to find out how you can get involved elsewhere.