Talking About Housing

Funding at a glance

Programme: Nurturing Ideas to Change the Housing System
Amount: £191,628 grant
Approved: 2019
Timescale: 22 months
Status: Funding in progress

Moving from Concern to Concrete Change

How we talk about housing matters. Everyone in the UK should have access to a decent, affordable home. This project will bring forward new tried and tested ways to discuss housing so that the public is engaged and supportive of moves to transform the housing system. 

Why we are funding this project

The UK housing system needs reform to make it fairer and to ensure that everyone has access to decent homes that they can afford. These changes will only happen when the public gets behind them. However, while most people in the UK are aware of a well-documented housing crisis, the majority don’t know what’s causing it and what could fix it. This project, called Talking about Housing, will take a social science approach which will help the sector to frame its messages about housing so that the way we communicate inspires action and drives change. It will help people see what’s going wrong and how it could be put right.

Strategic purpose

More ideas will exist on how to protect and increase the supply of decent, affordable homes.

Project description

Framing means making deliberate choices about how we communicate. It’s about understanding how people think and feel, and telling stories that change hearts and minds. Talking about Housing aims to change the discourse on housing and how it is understood. Starting in 2020, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and the Nationwide Foundation are working with the FrameWorks Institute to explore:

  • Public attitudes to housing: what do people think and why?
  • How does this align with the housing sector’s perspective?
  • How can we talk about housing to build support for the solutions we need to see?

By generating evidence on how to communicate effectively and convincingly with the public and stakeholders about housing, FrameWorks Institute will produce a toolkit and training so that sector organisations are all using harmonising messages that steer public thinking in a helpful direction.

By applying these new ways of talking about housing, the aim is that this in turn will change hearts and minds. It will build and galvanise public support, which leads to pressure for more political will to deliver positive changes to the housing system.

In early 2021, FrameWorks Institute published From Concern to Concrete Change, a guide for people in the housing sector about how to build public support for social housing. 

The FrameWorks Institute will be continuing its research during 2021. There will be opportunities to hear about what it is covering and what it means for how experts should talk about housing across the sector.

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