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.

Lobby a Lord: make social housing safer. Screenshot of webpage, email to target action asking Shelter supporters to 'Lobby the House of Lords so that the Social Housing Regulation bill gives people living in social housing homes they deserve'

UPDATE: Campaign win! On 20 July 2023 the long-awaited Social Housing (Regulation) Act received Royal Assent and became law. We're delighted that Shelter supporter action via Impact Stack played a part in this important campaign. Six years after the fire at Grenfell Tower, the new law should mean social homes are better managed and maintained, and residents are treated with dignity and respect by professional housing managers.

This action was one of several ways that Shelter supporters engaged with decision-makers using Impact Stack through the course of the campaign. You can find out more about the Act on the Shelter website.

Lobbying 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.

“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.”

- Says Kirsty Archer, Digital Campaigns Officer at Shelter
Thank you for lobbying a Lord or Baroness - screenshot of the desktop version of the Thank You page for the email to target action. Includes options to share action to Facebook or Twitter.

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The complete presentation about this case study

Hear more about this action and others in our webinar Innovative digital campaign actions on YouTube.