At the start of the year, we announced our new Public Affairs offering ahead of what was predicted to be a big political year. Well, Rishi’s rainy announcement brought the biggest political event much sooner than anticipated. This week, the country will take to the polling stations to cast their vote for their local MP and by extension the governing party.

While many major property players strive to remain apolitical – the fact of the matter is property is intrinsically political. A fact that remains true at all levels. Planning decisions are made at a local government level, from the acceptance and rejection of planning proposals to the setting of long term strategic local plans. Put simply, positively engaging with the local council at an early stage can make creating new homes, communities and villages a smoother process.

At Building Relations, we’ve been working with local government on behalf of our clients since day one, from facilitating site visits with local councillors through to organising large stakeholder events at all stages of construction – including Groundbreaking and Topping Out events.  

But of course, decisions aren’t only made at a local level. It was the Conservative Government in 2013 that brought in the Help to Buy scheme which helped 350,000 first-time buyers get onto the ladder. There is an entire department dedicated to Housing – DLUHC – currently headed up by Secretary of State Michael Gove (who is standing down this week), while Lee Rowley is the specific Minister for Housing, Planning & Building Safety. Members of Parliament regularly advocate for constituents they have met through surgeries in the Commons – both those in favour of development and those who are not – colloquially known as YIMBYs & NIMBYs (Yes In My Back Yards & Not In My Back Yards).

Public Relations & Public Affairs specialists can and often work hand in hand to promote the same business goals to different audiences. PR takes place in broad daylight and is looking to reach consumers or other businesses – it is about sharing a message far and wide – whether that’s calling openly for change in the property industry, raising a brand’s profile or supporting sales messaging. Public Affairs is about directly engaging with decision makers – and this often happens behind closed doors. Months or even years of lobbying for laws that will benefit the property industry may only become public knowledge if the law makes it into the House of Commons.

As the 4th July approaches – political change and a likely new government is on the horizon. This will unquestionably have an impact on the property industry – and many are predicting the election will bring with it a boost for sentiment in the housing market.

If you want to help shape the housing debate, the team at Building Relations are here and ready to help. Contact the team and make your voice heard.