On Friday 31 August we celebrated our third Starts at Home Day. Hundreds of housing association staff and tenants joined the campaign to showcase the value of supported housing, and celebrate the news that we have secure future funding for this services.
With the Government in recess, the summer is usually a quiet period devoid of any major announcements.
But for housing associations, this summer came with a big and important announcement: all future funding for supported housing will remain in the benefit system.
Our Chief Executive, David Orr, has written before about the importance of this announcement and the journey we’ve been on to get here. And that’s why Starts at Home Day this year, as well as being a showcase of supported housing, also celebrated this brilliant news.
We saw an incredible day of action that powerfully championed how vital supported housing is. Some of my own highlights include:
- Almost twenty MP and councillor visited supported housing schemes, from both of the major political parties.
- Over 20 new stories published on our website and shared across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- More than 2,600 tweets sent, generating a potential reach of 2.7m people.
The work you’ve done on this Starts at Home Day, and through this entire campaign, has highlighted the inspiring stories of people who, with the help of supported housing, have managed to turn their lives around. Because of that, we’ve secured the funding of these services, and can help even more people in the future.
What happens next?
Looking ahead, our policy work at the National Housing Federation will focus on the Government’s plans for increased transparency and oversight on supported housing.
Our Policy team are hosting a number of events across the country in October and November to explore this further, and officials from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) will attend to hear your views.
You can register your place online.
Let us know about your new schemes
Lots of our members have been in touch to let us know that, due to the funding certainty we now have, they plan to develop new supported housing schemes.
We want to hear about these schemes, so if you have new supported housing or sheltered schemes in the pipeline, or are about to open the doors on a fantastic new development, please email us to let us know.
We’ll keep supported housing in the spotlight
The Starts at Home campaign has shown us that there is huge value in taking the time to explain what supported housing is, and showcase its positive impact on thousands of lives. So we encourage you to keep it up:
- share our social media graphics to highlight the services you provide
- send us your stories so we can highlight what it means to people
- order a free supporter board for your upcoming events.
We’re already looking forward to Starts at Home Day next year, so much so we’ve set the date already: 30 August 2019.
I’ll be in touch again to let you know more about the next stages of the Starts at Home campaign. In the meantime, thank you, you helped make Starts at Home Day 2018 truly special.
Ella Cheney works in the Campaigns team at the National Housing Federation.