Support your general election activity with data

Tristan Carlyon, 06 June 2024

As campaigning for the general election is now properly underway, we thought it would be useful to showcase the data resources and recent research that NHF members can use to underpin their work with local candidates.

Firstly, we have put together an online version of the campaign packs we have been circulating recently. There are a couple of parts to this toolkit that I want to highlight.

  • To start with, there are regional factsheets which outline key housing statistics including affordability, new build rates, and the contribution made by housing associations in terms of homes provided and economic activity. These are intended to help you contextualise your conversations with local candidates when talking about the need for social housing in your part of the country.
  • There’s also a template press release and a spreadsheet of data you can use to generate a press story with local or regional media, hinging on the scale of local housing need and calling for a long-term plan to end the housing crisis.

As well as the toolkit, we’ve also updated our page of stats and facts on the impact that housing associations have nationally, to include recent findings from the work we commissioned jointly with Shelter on the economic impact of building the homes we need. This page references the fact that social rents save tenants an average of £5,000 a year compared to what they would be paying in the private rented sector.

And, there’s a new version of our old favourite the Local Economic Impact Calculator available. This excel-based tool allows you to easily obtain estimates of the contribution you are making to your local and regional economy. It is based either on the number of new homes built or the number of existing homes you are managing. This impact is given in terms of both gross value added (GVA) which is the amount the activity adds to the economy and the number of full-time jobs supported. This means that you can easily create impressive evidence of the benefits your organisation is bringing to the local area.

Speaking of old favourites, our Home Truths resources are still available. Organised regionally, these allow you to generate a leaflet showing local authority level data on a range of topics. You can decide which topics and which local authorities to include and finish the leaflet off with your organisation’s logo and details, creating a nice handout for local stakeholders.

Last but by no means least, I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of pieces of research we have published recently which you may find useful.

Firstly we have recently worked with Altair to look at the need for supported housing. This piece estimates that we will need to see an increase of 33% in the amount of supported housing available by 2040 to meet demand as the shape of the population changes.

And finally, as mentioned previously, we teamed up with Shelter to commission the Centre for Economics and Business Research to arrive at the most comprehensive estimate yet made of the economic impact of building the homes we need. This piece of work shows that just one year of building 90,000 homes for social rent – the number previous research has shown we need annually – would generate a net economic benefit of more than £51 billion over a 30-year period.

This would come from the economic boost arising from the construction and management activity, and also from benefit savings, health and education benefits amongst others. Crucially, it shows that the Exchequer cost of funding these new homes would be paid back in savings elsewhere within eleven years. There are full details here, and a handy one-page summary document outlining the key findings is available here.

Along with the other resources mentioned here, this work is we think fundamental to making the case for a long-term plan for housing, and for making sure that our political representatives understand the value that social housing brings to everybody.

Who to speak to

Tristan Carlyon, Head of Research and Analysis