Why a strategic approach is crucial for Housing Associations

Picture of Tofunmi Ayodeji

Tofunmi Ayodeji
May 14, 2024
Read time: minute(s)

In a climate where the delivery and provision of affordable and suitable housing is perhaps more important than ever before, those who can provide homes need to be able to speak to as many people as possible. They cannot afford to be led by what some call the vocal minority. 

While traditional forms of consultation can allow for great and in-depth conversation, large numbers of tenants or community members will not attend face-to-face meetings. This means that Housing Associations need to use different ways to reach their communities. 

The obvious decision is to move to online consultation - but it can be difficult. Simply doing something online doesn’t mean the silent majority will be reached. Instead, a strategic approach is needed to reach people on their own terms, and where they are now, if Housing Associations are to engage with their wider communities of tenants.

Give My View, a community engagement platform and now part of LandTech’s suite of products, is built to make decision making easier and has been used by a number of Housing Associations over the last five years to manage their current sites and future developments. Give My View has allowed Housing Associations to overcome obstacles they usually encounter by effectively engaging with larger proportions of community members regarding important topics such as safety concerns, housing improvements, or gathering views on enhancing local surroundings.

Whether they engage with the community early on or for future projects, community consultation is even more impactful when a targeted engagement strategy is applied, below we will tell you why.

Traditional methods vs targeted engagement

Engaging with communities has traditionally been done by drop-in sessions, print advertising, or through a limited online presence. However, it's crucial to recognise that with vast numbers of community members being active internet users, particularly on social media, effective use of  digital platforms can dramatically enhance online presence. 

To effectively reach communities where they are, rather than diverting them from their busy routines, it's essential to recognise that traditional methods may resonate with some, but may not capture the attention of the majority. In the UK alone, over nine in ten adults use the internet regularly, whether at home or elsewhere, and one in five internet users have multiple profiles on various social media platforms as highlighted in a 2023 report by Ofcom on media usage and attitudes.

GMV Blog Stats Image

This shows that a targeted engagement strategy can be an effective way to connect with harder to reach community members as it breaks the barrier caused by age, language or nationality. Combined with traditional forms of engagement, Housing Associations can create comprehensive and inclusive campaigns that resonate with diverse audiences.


How can Housing Associations use targeted engagement to connect with community members? 

Working with Give My View, Housing Associations have seen an increase in engagement ranging from 1000% to 2000%. There are many ways you can use targeted engagement to ensure you have a more representative community view for consultations, and ensure that you make informed decisions.

To effectively use targeted engagement for community consultation, it's important that you understand your goals and plan for what geographic and demographic range you want to hear from. Understanding these goals helps to get a better picture of the messaging you want your target audience to see. 

Your geographical target area establishes where you want to gather views from. This part is also crucial as there is a difference between gathering views from residents of the site you own compared to those residing in its surrounding area. 

Your demographic targeting is also important. Targeting specific age groups that may be less represented in your consultations can also make the data more diverse. Languages spoken within your community are equally important to consider, as providing messaging in multiple languages ensures inclusivity, accommodating individuals facing exclusion due to language barriers involved in traditional engagement. 


Why your community consultations should always be targeted 

We have seen that implementing a targeted marketing strategy for public consultations helps Housing Associations to reach through to diverse voices within their communities. This not only enables them to make more informed decisions, but also fosters stronger connections with these communities. 

If you’re ready to learn more about how a proactive approach to community engagement can help Housing Associations deliver on affordable and suitable housing, check out our data report below.


Download Now