NHPF Industry Report
by exposure to increased education and better use of language as they were the largest percentage to define “affordable housing” as “the projects” (37%). Not surprisingly, those ages 18–25 ranked use of social media as the most effective way to encourage their support for affordable housing with 1 in 3 ranking such platforms as their top choice. According to recent research, 67% of respondents rank TikTok as their number one social media platform. This medium represents tremendous opportunity to get fresh housing messages to this population.
Here are the following recommendations to take away from this reporting and put into action to achieve the above. We preface these recommendations with this: Although it may be impossible to obtain 100% support for an affordable housing concept in a community, and some opponents will never change their minds, its the courage to continue that counts!
HEAR the needs and wants of the affected community OFFER existing success and educate about positive change potential
Listen to community affordable housing concerns, work to resolve potential conflicts, and make compromises or adjustments based on community input.
Demonstrate affordable housing success, connect existing residents with community members to help build trust with the community. Use local press coverage to show off project victories and educate audiences. To all policy-makers, advocacy groups, people experiencing homelessness, community members, etc., speak your audience’s language to make your messages clearer and more effective. Organizations that work towards affordable housing can bring you more diverse perspectives, opportunities to connect with stakeholders, and build meaningful, strategic relationships. And use their tools! Americans ages 18 to 29 stand out in that the most common digital way they get news is social media, particularly TikTok, with 42% saying they get news this way often. Women want to learn about affordable housing by meeting residents of such housing, learning of residents who have overcome homelessness, and hearing studies showing the cost benefits of affordable housing. Tailor outreach, including news stories, specifically to women. Supportive services that are built into affordable housing programs improve not just the living experience, but also the physical and mental health benefits for people experiencing homelessness.
UNDERSTAND different types of audiences
SEEK alliances and policies that strengthen the case
INFLUENCE and engage the next generation
NURTURE relationships with women
GATHER support services
NHPF has long espoused the credo “more than just a roof,” demonstrating that successful affordable housing is more than financing, bricks, and mortar. It will take concerted efforts by those in—and outside of—the affordable housing ecosphere to tear down silos and overcome barriers, to operate more fully in individual communities, hear what is needed, and create the relationships that help fulfill promises. Collective hard work combined with strong support earned from elected officials, community groups, local businesses, and individuals can bring important projects to fruition.
BATTLING HYPOCRISY TO BUILD POPULAR SUPPORT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING • 9
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