The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) is a long-term campaigner on reforming Right to Rent (RtR) rules, which create requirements on landlords to check the immigration status of prospective tenants.
JCWI asked IMiX for support on the latest phase of their campaign: launching a major report which found that RtR was directly leading to discrimination in the housing market and calling for an immediate halt to plans to extend the scheme beyond England.
JCWI wanted to reach national publications, publications in Scotland (where the scheme is due to be extended to) and landlord publications. It also wanted to demonstrate support across the migration sector, from landlords themselves and among political figures.
The report was covered in a number of strategically important publications, notably the Guardian, the Mirror, the Independent, and in major Scottish, regional and landlord outlets. IMiX also secured high-profile broadcast coverage, including interviews for JCWI spokespeople on BBC Breakfast, BBC London and the BBC Asian Network.
A wide range of sector organisations came out in support of the report, on social media and in press statements.
Both the Liberal Democrats and the SNP issued statements from frontbench spokespeople backing the report’s findings. It was also publicly endorsed by the Residential Landlords Association.
How we did it
Working with JCWI’s communications and policy team, IMiX divided the workstream into two strands: media and outreach. On the media front, we helped develop a plan for the report launch which included an embargoed press release focusing on the report’s finding that RtR rules are leading directly to discrimination against British nationals, especially ethnic minorities.
We worked with JCWI spokespeople to develop talking points and sold them in to broadcast outlets for interview. We identified key landlord publications and outlets in the regions into which the Government is due to extend RtR to target with the press release.
On the outreach front, we worked with the Residential Landlords Association to secure their public support, in the form of a quote from their director. We then worked with the RLA to identify a range of relevant case studies who could tell their stories in the media.
We liaised with political contacts – both individual MPs with an interest in the area and party HQs – and encouraged them to support the report’s findings. The SNP and the Liberal Democrats issued supportive quotes from frontbench spokespeople.
We also worked with our migration sector partners to ensure as many of them as possible came out in support of the report on the day of its publication.
IMiX continues to provide support to JCWI on its Right to Rent campaign.