Tom McCarthy
Tom McCarthy

By Tom McCarthy

Swipe right for more affordable homes: why Shelter put a brick on Tinder

When Boris Johnson came on stage at the 2014 Conservative party conference brandishing a brick, claiming “you shall not be alone”, it got us thinking.

Bricks aren’t solitary creatures. They should be cemented together into new homes, to solve the housing shortage. But without politicians building enough of those, they’re stuck sitting by themselves.

So we thought, what better way to find a mate for a single brick – and highlight the issue to some of the young people directly affected – than through Tinder (the online dating app)?

Here are some of the highlights:

 
Paul was very keen… As was Jan…
Some people were a bit obsessive… And clichés were at the heart of our brick’s lingo…
But our all-time favourite was Steve…

After 1,000 matches on Tinder our brick started giving out the keys to her heart (www.lonelybrick.org.uk), to make sure others could help her cement a relationship.

Once there, people could pledge to help our little friend – by telling politicians to build more affordable homes.

Behind the fun and games sits our more serious message though. That we are in the midst of a housing crisis that has engulfed this country for too long.

No-one understands better than Shelter the impact the housing crisis is having. Every day on our helpline we hear from hundreds of people who are affected, offering them all the help we can. On top of that it now takes years to save for a home; crippling rents are hitting people hard; and 93,000 children are homeless.

Shelter is campaigning to get this fixed in the build up to the General Election – putting pressure on politicians to build more affordable homes.

And we’re doing everything we can to help raise awareness. To get the issue in front of people. And sometimes, to get cut through, it means putting ourselves in places that are a little different to what you’d normally expect. Hence how we found ourselves on Tinder, impersonating a brick, with an infinite amount of puns.

Fixing the problem won’t be easy. And it will take time, money and political will. But there are solutions, as we showed in a joint report we released with KPMG last year (PDF). Plus, you can start turning around the problem within a single parliament.

More than 10,000 people have now signed our petition. If you’re not one of them yet, then you’re denying the Brick a chance to cement a relationship, so get involved today.

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For more brick based antics go to the lonely brick Tumblr. Or to sign Shelter’s petition for more affordable homes visit: http://shltr.org.uk/9qq

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