By John Pierce, Campaigns Manager at the National Housing Federation

Working in housing, we all know that supported housing helps transform people’s lives in communities across the country. We see how people who have been ill, have recovered and got their lives back on track through supported housing. We see how people who have not had the best opportunities, have now been able to take ownership of their lives in a safe and supportive environment. We see how women who have suffered for years in abuse relationships are now able to rebuild their lives. And how those who have served for our country, are being helped to live independently as they get older.

We see the impact of supported housing everyday. Unfortunately, this is not the case for politicians. Who are busy people. Who ultimately are making decisions that can help supported housing thrive or make it very difficult to make sums add up. With this in mind, it’s vital that we ensure that politicians from across the political spectrum understand the role of supported housing in the communities that they serve. That we give them the opportunity to meet the people who have regained independence. And also hear from the staff and of the services that have made this possible.

That’s why we launched Starts at Home, our campaign to celebrate and advocate for supported housing. Starts at Home aims to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a safe home that meets their needs. Starts at Home day on 1 September gives the campaign a clear moment, when we can all come together and tell the supported housing story. It is timed for the week before MPs return to Parliament, so there is the opportunity for them to see supported housing schemes and services first hand.

Now in its second year, we hope our national day of action will build on the huge success of last year. To achieve this we have produced a range of campaign resources to help you celebrate supported housing. We have also designed some new campaign boards which you told us you liked from our recent General Election campaign. You can order your boards today.

We hope that you will join us this year to make Starts at Home day a success. We know many of you have already been planning your activities and inviting MPs to your schemes. Please let us know your plans and share all of your activities using our campaign hashtag #startsathome. All of the will help us engage with MPs once they return to Parliament.

Together we can ensure supported housing continues to transform people’s lives.