Survey: Building Popular Support for Affordable Housing For people experiencing homelessness and those who are one paycheck away from being homeless Survey Overview/Background and Scope In the summer of 2022, Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI) conducted a survey and associated interviews on behalf of the NHP Foundation (NHPF) to understand attitudes and best practices to building popular support for affordable housing, particularly for individuals experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. What is popular support? It describes positive connections held by the general public that result in favor for certain policies or causes of action. Why do we need popular support for affordable housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness? Because affordable housing and supportive services are some of the first and necessary steps to help homeless populations better their quality of life, build just and vibrant communities, and enhance economic prosperity. Building popular support is crucial for many organizations and programs driven by such missions to seek funding, policy support, and operational approval. What is the focus of the survey and interviews? The survey asked about fundamental beliefs in affordable housing and homelessness, how survey participants’ organizations are affected by and/or address homelessness, and common messaging techniques, especially when facing opposition from impacted communities and policies. We surveyed executive directors, managers, and housing program directors from advocacy groups, housing development companies, and service providers working with affordable housing and/or homelessness populations across the country. Respondents included people working in both affordable and supportive housing. We also conducted follow-up interviews with 26 of the survey respondents to gain additional insights into their successes, struggles, and take-aways when developing supportive or affordable housing, with an emphasis on messaging and building popular support for their work. Survey participants across the country The survey includes 73 valid responses from affordable housing developers, housing finance professionals, homeless service providers, policy makers and advocates, and academic researchers from 26 U.S. states.
THE NHP FOUNDATION
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