#HousingDay is a 24 hour campaign across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media networks. This year’s focus was to promote the creation of new and untold housing stories shared under the #HousingDay hashtag.
The day aimed to tackle negative portrayals of those who live in council, social or affordable housing, as well as those on benefits through programmes like ‘Benefits Street’. #HousingDay 2014 was our chance to challenge these negative perceptions and to present an alternative view of how social housing supports and enables people to fulfil ambitions and transform their lives for the better. We will only be able to compile a compelling housing narrative if we ensure that housing organisations engage with their tenants and customers.
This year’s event received widespread coverage on social media and was backed by celebrities including the Rev Richard Coles, Armando Iannucci and Rufus Hound. It was also supported by MPs such as Brandon Lewis, Emma Reynolds, Natalie Bennett and Tim Farron. Community Housing Cymru, the National Housing Federation, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Federation of ALMOs also backed the campaign.
According to TweetReach, #HousingDay topped 30,000 tweets - averaging 1,248 tweets an hour - with an overall reach of seven million and 6,000 contributions. The results are up significantly on 2013 when there were 10,000 tweets, 2,600 contributors and a reach of 1.8 million.
We also ran a #HousingDay roadshow which was a whistle-stop tour of six housing associations all over the UK in just two days. John Popham, a social media advocate and consultant, visited the six organisations to run a brief session on the importance of storytelling in order to give them the tools to publicise their great stories.
#HousingDay also commissioned ‘outside in’ research on perception by the GB public with Ipsos Mori. This research makes for interesting reading and discussion, and proves that positivity towards the value of social housing is higher than expected in the UK with 61% voting that the negative stereotype of the people that live in social housing is unfair. It also shows that #HousingDay provides an opportunity to facilitate the conversation we need to have with policy makers, the media and the public.
#HousingDay's creator Adrian Capon, who works for Yorkshire Housing, said: “This was a fabulous effort by all those who took part. I really can’t thank you enough for the efforts you have put in. But please, we must keep creating and sharing our tenant stories. We have a long way to go to tackle stigma and to end the housing crisis. The success of this day is totally down to you.”
Following the day, there is a #HousingDay 'best story' competition. We’re appealing to all social landlords, housing professionals and tenants who took part to share their stories with the @HousingDay Twitter handle. The most compelling stories will be used as part of a TV-style documentary. Finally, an impact survey is available to provide your HousingDay feedback on www.surveymonkey.com/s/HousingDayImpact2014.