NHPF Industry Report

NHPF Industry Report

Conflicting Beliefs

Although the majority of the 500+ general population survey respondents believe unconditionally that housing is a human right, there is dissent. • Less than half, 47%, of the general population support affordable housing that will benefit seniors, veterans and families • 62% of all respondents found that the statement “Stable affordable housing reduces crime and other societal ills including drug abuse and domestic violence” is most likely to convince them that affordable housing should be guaranteed for all •However, some survey takers wrote in that those who are perceived as “not working when they should,” or who “choose to do nothing but drugs” ought not receive the same support • 37% of those surveyed found that “what they see on the streets” [in terms of homelessness] resonated most strongly in terms of encouraging support for affordable housing

A Novel Approach to “What We See on the Streets”

Of the general population respondents to the NHPF survey who measure “what they see on the streets” as their primary barometer for affordable housing need, these participants are typically picturing permanent housing of some kind as the solution.

However, Brian Rossbert, Executive Director, Housing Colorado, took the negative connotation of what respondents see on the streets in terms of homelessness and created a positive. When it became apparent that

affordable housing output was not going to catch up to the number of unhoused Coloradans (particularly during the Pandemic), Rossbert and team hit on the novel solution of creating a “Safe Outdoor Space” via an organized tented community—that actually thrived due to positive public support. Housing Colorado overcame opposition via vigorous community engagement, involvement with RNOs (Registered Neighborhood Organizations), and near constant demonstrations of positive results via a website, video, and press coverage. (81% of NGOs surveyed and roughly a third of the general population rank local press coverage as the most effective communication vehicle to build popular support for affordable housing). NGO representatives in the NHPF study agree that in general, “it is easier to build popular support for affordable (or supportive) housing when the target demographic includes


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