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.

14 March 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. This led to further coverage of our campaign by BBC News, The Mirror, Press AssociationDaily Mail's personal finance section, Huffington Post, BBC radio 5 Live and several local BBC radio stations. 

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. 

Get in touch

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