Profile photograph of Sara Bell Communications Officer at the National Housing FederationStarts at Home is back. On Friday 2 September 2022 we’ll be celebrating the value of care and support services and the vital role supported housing plays in helping people to live independently and with dignity.

Blog by Sara Bell, Communications Officer at the National Housing Federation.

There are lots of different ways to get involved in Starts at Home but one of the most effective ways you can support the campaign is by inviting your MP or a local councillor along to see your work with their own eyes.

Last year, Starts at Home Day helped to secure new funding for supported and sheltered housing through the Social Care White Paper. Now that we are able to do far more in person, this year we want to build on that success by making sure local politicians and MPs understand what supported housing is, and the vital role it plays in communities up and down the country. There is no better way to highlight the value of supported housing to politicians than by ensuring they see it first hand and in their own community.

In the past, Starts at Home has focused on MPs specifically but this year we are including councillors in the campaign. Councils are key commissioners of supported housing and so local councillors have a direct role in decisions that impact supported housing in your area. Councils play a key role in assessing local need for supported housing and there is collaboration between local councils, providers and local delivery partners to assess, plan and deliver supported housing. You can find out who your local councillors using this tool.

We have created a guide to arranging a MP or local councillor visit. This covers how to get started, how to prepare for the visit, what to expect on the day, and how best to communicate about the visit publically. We have also created a template invitation that you can email or send to the politician you wish to invite (updated August 2023). This can be tweaked and edited as needed.

If you have any questions about organising a visit for Starts at Home then please get in touch.