The UK’s first independent local housing company, Poplar HARCA,
which manages 1,800 properties in London’s Tower Hamlets, has hired The
Grand Design to handle its PR.
Poplar HARCA, which stands for Housing and Regeneration Community
Association, is the first local housing company (LHC) to take
responsibility for housing transferred from local authority control. It
is responsible for the management and refurbishment of 1,800 homes using
government grants and money from the private sector.
The previous government allowed for the establishment of LHCs in the
light of falling funding from central government for the one million
housing units run by councils and housing associations. LHC’s are
non-profit organisations backed mainly by tenants, but maintains close
relations with local councils.
Unlike housing associations, LHCs are able to go after private
Poplar HARCA needs PR advice as it is expected to come under close
scrutiny from local and central government as the first LHC to be
The Grand Design will devise media relations for national, specialist
and local media. It will also develop a corporate identity for the
Charlotte Desorgher, managing partner of the Grand Design, said: ’Our
job will be to communicate the services, successes and benefits of HARCA
to a broad range of audiences. This will include tenants, many of whom
don’t have English as a foreign language.’