Client: The National Housing and Planning Advice Unit (NHPAU)
Timescale: July 2009
NHPAU is the UK's foremost independent advisory body on housing affordability. Camargue's brief was to secure media coverage for two messages: worsening housing affordability remains a long-term problem despite falling house prices, and attitudes must change towards building new homes.
Who is being targeted?
Decision makers in national, regional and local government, planning experts, and housing and development interest groups. It is also increasingly important to the unit that the 'change in attitudes' message is heard among the general public.
STRATEGY AND TACTICS
Camargue took a bullish message - 'the country's in denial over housing supply' - and backed it with findings from two sources. YouGov research focused on attitudes of both homeowners and non-homeowners; the former were considerably more against new homes being built. Camargue also highlighted a new report produced by the unit, which found the recession is not a solution to the country's long-term housing affordability problem.
Were any spokespeople used?
Professor Steve Nickell, the unit's chairman and former member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, was chosen as a credible spokesperson.
What happens next?
Camargue will support the unit with an ongoing media campaign, using new unit reports and one-to-one briefings, to drive home the message that housing affordability is a significant long-term problem for the country and that the NHPAU is best placed to advise on how it can be tackled.