NHPF Survey Compendium

Interview Theme: Understanding Community Priorities Places that are predominantly liberal or progressive do not necessarily have more YIMBYs: people may support the idea of affordable housing (and often are comfortable raising taxes to support housing funds), as long as it is not located in their own neighborhoods.

Several interviewees spoke about the need to understand the local context in order to frame the conversation around key issues.

Examples are environmentally sustainable and transit-oriented affordable housing developments in Massachusetts, the Pacific Northwest, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities area, or employment-related framing in places like NW Arkansas. Interview Theme: Local Dynamics In communities with already strong funding for affordable housing, with high rental burdens, and with organizations that have established reputations for building successful affordable housing, people tend to be more supportive. In communities with incomprehensive or biased understanding on affordable housing and population it serves, with residents that have extreme opinions, people tend to be less supportive. To gain support from opponents, advocates need to recognize what type of communities they are dealing with. In general, when framing popular support for affordable housing, interviewees said that there needs to be more nuance than simply progressive versus conservative or high-cost versus lower cost cities in grouping local dynamics.

Interview Theme: Key Strategies Invite residents to tell their stories.

Offer tours of existing developments or show detailed designs, to demonstrate how a development might defer from the public’s baseline understanding of what affordable housing developments look like. Actively listen to concerns. Understanding community pain points can help target an approach.

Understand the community’s key issues in order to frame the conversation most effectively.

Recognize that it may be impossible to obtain 100% support for affordable housing, and that some opponents will not change their minds. Strong supporters such as elected officials, community groups, or individuals can help bring the project to fruition despite not having 100% support.



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