Guide to organising an MP visit to your housing association

As part of the Homes at the Heart campaign, we’re asking members to arrange visits and meetings with their local MPs. We understand that due to coronavirus there will be restrictions on how these visits can take place – this advice aims to help you to engage with MPs in a way which is safe and suitable for the situation at your housing association.

Throughout August and September, the NHF and our partners have organised a series of themed weeks as part of the campaign, each of which highlights a particular role carried out by housing associations. You may want to link your visit or meeting to the themed weeks, details of which can be found here.



If you secure a visit with your MP, please let us know

We can also provide you with background information on your MP or answer any other questions you may have about organising a visit. 


Socially distanced visits

As lockdown eases, many MPs are now going on visits in their constituencies again, as they did before the pandemic.

If it is appropriate for the setting you work in, you could invite your local MP to a socially distanced visit during our Homes at the Heart weeks of action. Most MPs will welcome the opportunity to demonstrate their involvement in their communities – for example, visiting a construction site where new homes are being built is a chance for an MP to show their constituency’s economy is bouncing back after coronavirus. 

Current social distancing guidelines suggest that you should remain two metres away from anyone outside your household or support bubble, or one metre away if there are risk mitigation measures in place (such as screens or masks) and two metre distancing is not possible. This advice may change, so please check the latest government guidance before organising a visit.

Top tips for socially distanced visits

  • Enforce social distancing guidelines, as set out above
  • If possible, visit an outdoor space to reduce the chance of transmission – this could be a construction site where you can demonstrate the new homes you are building for the community, or an outside communal space where the MP could meet residents
  • If meeting an MP inside, make sure it is in a large space where there will be plenty of room for social distancing
  • If you will be inside, consider if you need to provide suitable face coverings for all those involved in the visit,
  • Provide hand sanitiser or hand washing facilities for the MP and any staff or residents involved
  • Check that all staff and residents involved with the visit are comfortable with meeting an MP in person
  • Take photos or videos of the visit, but make sure that staff, residents and MPs in the images are clearly socially distanced
  • Consider inviting local media to the visit – you can find a template “letter to editor” elsewhere in our campaign pack, as well as further guidance on contacting local media

Virtual visits

If it is not possible for you to carry out an in-person visit, you could still showcase the work you do through a virtual visit with an MP.

A virtual visit is different to a virtual meeting. It can be held using video conferencing software, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Whilst the MP will not be able to experience your site in person, you can still give them a taste of what your housing association is like. For example, the MP could speak to a member of front-line staff or a resident about their experiences. Or you could hold the call in an area you would particularly like to show the MP, so they can still see an example of the services you provide.

Top tips for virtual visits

  • Check your technology before the visit, making sure that your sound, camera and internet connection are working
  • Think about where you want to film the visit and choose a location which will leave the MP with a positive impression of the housing association
  • If there will be more than one person on camera from your housing association, please make sure they are socially distanced from each other
  • Take a screenshot of the meeting to share on social media

Virtual meetings

You can also invite an MP to a virtual meeting to discuss Homes at the Heart and the work your housing association does. This will largely follow the format of a standard meeting with an MP, but will be held over video conferencing software instead of in person.

Top tips for virtual visits

  • Check your technology before the visit, making sure that your sound, camera and internet connection are working
  • Check what will be in the background of your video during the meeting
  • Take a screenshot of the meeting to share on social media