Social housing in the spotlight – roundup of media activities

We have been working hard to ensure the issues that matter to housing associations and their tenants and residents remain in the spotlight and receive the media attention they deserve.

23 August 2019

We outline some of the key media coverage we have secured on behalf of our housing association members, and their tenants and residents. This is an important part of our work to ensure the key issues facing our sector remain firmly in the spotlight. 

Please click on the relevant link to find the media highlights for that month:

January

Due to the way Universal Credit is calculated, we highlighted that many Universal Credit claimants will lose out on a week’s rent this year. This is because the benefits are worked out according to a 52-week year, while many tenants will need to cover 53 weeks of rent this year. The story was covered by The Sun, The Mirror and Inside Housing.

In a joint open letter we called on the Housing Minister, James Brokenshire, to scrap a proposed widening of permitted development rights. In the letter, which was covered by the Financial Times, we argue that the rules, which allow the construction of homes without planning permission, are preventing the construction of affordable homes, which councils would normally require as a condition of planning consent.

In our response to the Shelter social housing commission report, we reiterated the need for a long-term programme of investment in social housing, called for a fundamental reform the way land is bought and sold, and supported calls to rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants. You can read our response here, and this was covered by a number of BBC radio stations.

February

We voluntarily published our gender pay gap data accompanied by a comment piece in Inside Housing. In the piece, Kate Henderson outlines how the Federation plans to address the 14.6% gender pay difference in favour of male staff, and the work the Federation is doing more broadly to promote diversity.

Our new research revealed half a million more children are living in poverty in the private rented sector than 10 years ago. In the research report, we call on the Government to address this by providing more direct funding for social housing, particularly family homes, and to reform the way land is sold so housing associations aren’t priced out by private developers. The story was covered extensively, including by Sky News, BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Channel 5 News, The Guardian, The Sun and The Mirror.

In response to our Stop DSS Discrimination joint campaign with Shelter, and the widespread coverage this achieved, the Government has announced that it will take steps to “tackle the practice of ‘No DSS’ to underline the need for immediate change”. In our response to the Government’s announcement, we underline the need to end discrimination against people on benefits

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced that it will consider amending Universal Credit regulations, following the coverage of our story on tenants falling short of a week’s rent (see above). The announcement can be found in point 3.5 of the DWP’s February newsletter.

March

Following the government’s announcement that they are looking to ban No DSS adverts, our campaign with Shelter was mentioned in an article by Press Association and picked up by hundreds of local outlets. The Big Issue included a response from us on the news. In March, Zoopla announced that it will be banning No DSS adverts from its site. Our campaign and the news has been reported on by BBC NewsThe Daily MirrorPress AssociationDaily MailHuffington Post BBC radio 5 Live and a number of local BBC radio stations and trade outlets.

We responded to the Spring Statement announcement of a £3bn guarantee scheme for housing associations, which was picked up by the FT, Inside Housing, 24housing, The Big Issue and Showhouse

Victoria Dingle from Soha Housing from wrote a comment piece for Inside Housing about our Together with Tenants project.

Following a BBC News investigation that found homeowners in Britain who bought under the Right to Buy scheme have made £6.4bn in collective profit since 2000, James Prestwich, Head of Policy at the Federation, appeared on ITV to discuss the issue. 

Our analysis of the government’s latest child poverty data, highlighting that there are 847,000 children from working families living in poverty because of housing costs, was written up by the GuardianBBC News Online, Daily Mail, Huffington Post24housingLBC’s websiteSky News, a comment piece in The Daily Telegraph and Grazia. It also received significant broadcast coverage, including BBC News at 6BBC News at 10, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 2, BBC local radio and 15 local BBC radio station.

The Daily Telegraph published a letter from Kate Henderson which included our call for social housing funding in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

April

Kate Henderson was featured in a profile piece by The Guardian, in which she discusses key issues for the sector including the supply of new homes and building a stronger relationship with tenants and residents. 

Kate Henderson also commented in Inside Housing on their gender pay gap analysis, which showed the pay gap has increased for more than half of large housing associations.

Following Zoopla's announcement in March, Rightmove announced that it is also banning 'No DSS’ adverts following our campaign with Shelter, which was covered by the Big Issue and other trade media.

The Times published a story about a report from Savills (funded by the Federation, G15 and Homes for the North) showing that the Government won’t be able to meet its building targets without funding more affordable housing. The article, which included a quote from Kate Henderson, was also covered by the trade media. 

The Metro used our analysis on housing costs pushing children from working families into poverty in article about Londoners struggling to find work. The article features a quote from Kate Henderson. 

Our response to a report that half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population was published in The Guardian, stating that if law allowed land to be sold more quickly and for what it is actually worth, more affordable homes could be built.

The Federation's External Affairs Manager for London, Dave Smith, was interviewed on BBC South Today discussing self-builds in local areas as an alternative affordable housing.

Advisor to the Chief Executive, Emily Bird, was interviewed by BBC London talking about Sadiq Khan’s £11m to build more temporary accommodation for homeless people in London.

May

The Times published our story that, according to a poll, more than three quarters of people believe there is a shortage of affordable homes across England. This included our call for more social housing at the upcoming Spending Review. It was also reported on by trade press.

Kate Henderson was quoted in a piece in The Telegraph looking at for-profit social housing providers, arguing that they might drive up the price of affordable housing and prioritise profits over community investment.

Inside Housing has published an interview with Victoria Moffett, the Federation's Grenfell Lead, discussing our call for the Government to cover the cost of new Hackitt review requirements.

The Federation's Head of Policy, James Prestwich, wrote an article for PBC today about the urgent action needed by the Government to solve the housing crisis.

June

The Sun, Conservative Home, Inside Housing and 24housing published our call for the government to invest £12.8bn to build 145,000 social homes each year. This was a joint call ahead of the Spending Review together with Shelter and Crisis, CRPE and CIH. The Times’ Carol Lewis also referenced our call in a comment piece about the leadership contest.

The Financial Times interviewed our Chief Executive, Kate Henderson, for an article on for-profit social housing providers, setting out some of our concerns.

Kate Henderson's comment piece, discussing what we might expect from the next prime minister, was published is in Inside Housing.
Social Housing Magazine also published a comment piece by Kate, looking at the sector’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Jessica Levy, the Federation's Public Affairs Manager, was interviewed by Housing Today discussing the Tory leadership and what it could mean for housing.

Inside Housing published results from our supply survey which show that the number of homes started by housing associations is up 13% from the previous year.

Inside Housing has published its annual survey of The Top 50 Biggest Builders in the sector which includes comments from our Policy Leader, Will Jeffwitz. Will was also quoted in a separate Inside Housing article on the results, discussing how political instability could derail development ambitions.

July

 

Our research showing that new homeless families now outnumber new social homes 8 to 1 was broadcast on BBC News at 6pm and 10pm. Sky News ran an interview with our Chief Executive, Kate Henderson. The research was also published in the GuardianEvening StandardMetro and ITV online. The package ran across all of the regional BBC TV and radio stations and numerous regional papers.

Kate Henderson was interviewed about the 100 year anniversary of the Addison Act on the BBC Radio London Vanessa Feltz show and BBC Hereford and Worcester

The Times’ Red Box published a comment piece by Kate Henderson calling on the new Government to fix the broken building safety system by making it more transparent, funding remediation costs and coordinating safety work.

The Times and The Guardian included a quote from Kate Henderson in articles on an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report about private renters facing homelessness when they retire

BBC News South East ran a feature on our housing need figures. 

Clare Paredes, Head of Communications and Marketing, wrote a comment piece for Inside Housing on the results of the Federation's supply conversation.

August

Our research, which shows that around 130,000 families in England are being forced to live in one-bedroom flats, was covered by The Times ,The Sun, TheMirrorHuffPost UK, The Evening Standard, iNewsThe Big IssueYahoo NewsPoliticsHome24housing and Inside Housing. Kate Henderson, our Chief Executive, spoke about the research on Channel 5 News and Sky News. The research was also picked up by LBC and regional radio stations across the UK. 

The Telegraph published Kate Henderson's letter to editor arguing for land to be made more affordable and urging the government to commit £12.8bn each year for new social housing.

The Federation was quoted on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours calling for the Government to cover the cost of cladding remediation and overhaul the regulatory system. A week later, Victoria Moffett, Head of Building and Fire Safety Programmes, was interviewed on the BBC Radio London Vanessa Feltz Show, arguing that the Government must take a stronger lead on cladding advice and the effect this is having on leaseholds.

The Great Places Commission published its final report, setting out 10 recommendations for how housing associations can contribute to thriving, successful communities. This was covered by Inside Housing and 24housing. Martin Hilditch, Editor of Inside Housing, also wrote a comment piece for Inside Housing.

Planning and Building Control Today published an op-ed from our Head of Policy, James Prestwich, looking at our call for the Government to spend £12.8bn on social housing.

Inside Housing published a piece on our warning that the delayed Spending Review will impact housing supply.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about our media work and how you can get involved, please get in touch with Charlotte Morris, PR Manager.