Today is #HousingDay and I am beyond proud and honoured to host the newsroom here in Leeds at the home of @ResourceHousing & @CommsHero
Who would have thought that a print provider is so central to what is an incredible day? Raising the profile of all the amazing work that the housing sector and #housingheroes do, day in, day out. (come on – I needed to throw a #hero reference in!)
I’ve centred my efforts of the business around the housing industry, and as a non standard housing professional, I thought today was the day that I give you a little glimpse of my why. To let you see that I do have motivations past print orders and new accounts – they are just an added bonus!! (don’t tell the MD!)
Home to me has always been just home and the type of tenure never even crossed my mind. So much so that it was not until the 1st #housingday 2 years ago that I realised my teenage years were spent in #socialhousing. This proved to me that it really doesn’t matter if you rent your home privately or through a housing provider, or if you own your home outright or with assistance. Your home is the same irrespective of how you ended up there. It’s your safe place and tenure is a mere technicality.
Home was always a busy place to be. I am one of 10 children (5 boys and 5 girls), so at our fullest there was 12 of us in 1 house. It was a truly great place to be and growing up, you never felt alone and always felt loved. Being the 2nd oldest I had a role and responsibility in the family. (think Godfather if you will!)
For the first 12 years of my life we lived in a 3 bed terraced house in Bradford. You know the type, traditional Victorian terrace with a yard as a garden. We certainly wouldn’t have got stung for the bedroom tax back then, maybe the government would have paid us for overcrowding!?
Although, funnily enough it never felt like that. There was a huge sense of community, like real community. People really looking out for one another, the streets filled with sounds of kids playing until they could push an extra 20 minutes no more, and people seemed happy with their lot.
The theme for today is #proudtenant and this is completely applicable to my parents. Having a family our size is normal within the Asian culture and my Mum & Dad always worked incredibly hard. They always provided for us and managed to do this whilst not being able to read or write English, so not only where they #proudtenant, but amazingly #proudparents and still are to this day.
We never wanted for anything, I always remember having the latest #LFC kit, running round the streets pretending I was Kenny Dalglish. I mean, I could have been a pro footballer, but print was my calling!
For the those that follow me on #twitter, you will be familiar with my mid week #MommaChoudry food tweets. I still go ‘home’ to my parents twice a week for dinner with daughters. Food was an integral part to family life growing up, admittedly we had to have our dinner in shifts for the first 12 years of my life, as there wasn’t anything as luxurious as a family dinner table!
I remember our lives changing when i was 13, mine in particular, because it was the first time I had the joy of my own room – a bonus of being one of the eldest! It was also the first time we, as a family could sit round a dinner table together and share a meal. You don’t realise how important that coming together at the end of a day is when you have never had it and to have us all in one place was brilliant. (well for 20 minutes or so – I have 5 sisters don’t forget!)
Our lives changed due to social housing Manningham Housing Association @manninghamha realised that there was a need for large family accommodation in the asian communities, and we were lucky enough to be offered a 6 bedroom house. This was a virtual palace compared to the 3 bed terrace we had been living in.
Manningham Housing not only made our lives better by providing us with a housing solution that we so desperately needed, but it was also one of my first print jobs that led me into the housing sector.
I remember going back to my parents and seeing these newsletters all the time from the housing association. Mum and Dad never took any notice of them as they couldn’t read or write english, and the content really wasn’t applicable to them as existing tenants. I felt they had their target market wrong, and actually the publications that they sent through every door should have been aimed at someone like me. So being the shy and retiring type that I am, I gave them a call to tell them what Ii thought they could be doing differently.
@ResourceHousing soon after started to design, print and mail the Manningham Housing newsletter. It was great when one edition, I was in the print room and noticed my Dad was winner of a gardening competition. Dad hadn’t entered the competition, he wouldn’t know how to, but on an estate walkabout #manningham noticed their garden and entered them into it. Me, their son, printing the very newsletter that Dad was a winner in, gave him a sense of pride and appreciation for what I do, and me, the same sense of pride for seeing him as such a #proudtenant.
Surely this is what social housing is all about, those little moments that bring people together, shared snippets of time that mean so much and make people feel so proud?
The home that gave us so much growing up, continues to be the anchor that brings us all back together. Its a place where we all gravitate back to, and where we can all be together watching our families now grow.
So when I contact you through #twitter #dm #IRL #phone #letter it isn’t solely just about me trying to persuade you to do business with @ResourceHousing, this sector changed my life. It motivates me and keeps me optimistic. We have to keep going, we have to ensure that the sector keeps on providing and adapting (the fact I can help you with that is a bonus!). It may be a print order to you, but to me it optimises what #housingday and being a #proudtenant is all about, because tonight I’ll go and sit in their living room having one of Momma Choudry’s famous dinners, and that makes me proud to be part of an amazing social housing sector.