Shelter: Lobbying the Lords on social housing regulation
Using the ‘randomise target’ option in Impact Stack’s ‘email to target’ tool, Shelter was able to connect supporters with Peers while a key piece of legislation was being debated in the House of Lords.
The introduction of a Social Housing Regulation Bill was a key opportunity for Shelter to promote its goals. Unusually, this Bill started its journey through the parliamentary system in the Lords, meaning getting in touch with Peers (members of the House of Lords) was an important early chance to influence its content.
Lobbying Lords is much trickier than Members of Parliament (the Commons) though. While everyone has an MP elected to represent the constituency where they live, the Lords don’t represent any particular location, and there’s no reason for a member of the public to contact one rather than another. And not all Lords take an active part in parliamentary business anyway.
Contact a Lord - allocate target at random
Shelter uploaded a custom contact dataset of active Peers, and created an email to target action which simply matched each supporter with a Peer at random, providing them with a template letter highlighting Shelter’s suggested amendments to the Bill, and linking to a detailed briefing from Shelter’s policy team.
Impact for social housing
Over 4,300 emails were sent to Peers, and while Shelter’s preferred amendments weren’t voted through this time there was a lively discussion, with Shelter and Grenfell United’s key points being raised. The amendments have been subsequently added to the Bill and are getting good support from MPs as the Bill makes its way through the Commons.
Says Kirsty Archer, Digital Campaigns Officer at Shelter: “Working with more onion to develop the new ‘randomise target’ functionality allowed us to create a campaign action which got the attention of Peers at this crucial stage. Throughout the debate on the Social Housing Regulation Bill, the Minister and members of the House of Lords mentioned our campaign work with Grenfell United as the reason behind the changes to the Bill.”
Hear more about this action and others in our webinar Innovative digital campaign actions.