The G15 group has released a video of residents talking about housing associations in a bid to explain to a wider audience what the sector does. Paul Hackett explains more – and you can watch the video below.
“Go girls, go girls!” Margaret says to Rachelle and Abigail, surrounded by cups of tea and hot chocolate as they get ready to take part in a short film about living in a housing association property.
It’s exactly this energy and that of so many of our residents that we wanted to capture – and, to be honest, show off a little – when the G15 group commissioned this short film.
We wanted to tell the story of housing associations not in our own words, but in those of our residents. They can articulate far better than us why home matters, why their community is special, and why it’s so important that we work together to tackle the housing crisis.
People are at the heart of the housing crisis.
It’s important to remember that when the noise and nuances of politics and policy can dominate the debate.
Of course, members of the G15 and I’m sure all housing associations share this view.
Yet outside our industry bubble, there are still so many misconceptions about social housing, housing associations and how we work.
We wanted to use this film to reach more people and explain what really drives us: our social purpose and a shared mission to solve the housing crisis for everyone.
Watch the video below:
We all face operational difficulties, financial challenges and other tough decisions, and we know we don’t get everything right. But it’s our social purpose that drives us – it’s what gets us out of bed in the morning and what governs the way we make those tough decisions.
It’s important to keep communicating that.
But when we asked our residents to help us tell this story, they did far more.
They made us laugh, they made us reflect on what we could do better, and they moved some of us almost to tears.
And they trashed stereotypes about social housing, just as they do every day.
At a time when government, residents’ organisations and housing associations are exploring how we can better involve residents in our work and ensure their voice is heard, this film is just another example of how much residents have to offer.
We first showed this film to a room full of local authority housing professionals at an event last year at Camden Council.
It marked the launch of the G15’s Offer to London – our new commitment to the capital’s local authorities to help deliver more homes together.
The undisputed star speaker of the evening was Fiona, a resident who features in the film and who founded the Young Mums Support Network.
By my estimation, it was her perspective, incisiveness and enthusiasm that did more than anything to get people in the room talking and excited about how we can take on the housing crisis together.
Our residents will always provide inspiration and ideas to do just that.
Paul Hackett, chair, G15, and chief executive, Optivo