Using the right words is the heart of effective messaging. For example, research by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® found that simply using
the term “housing that is affordable” received more
positive responses than the traditional term “
Other suggestions by housing advocates and
communication experts include:
• Keep it positive, even in the face of opposition.
• Tailor your message to your audience.
• Stress the importance for everyone to have the
opportunity to live in a safe, affordable home
— working families, seniors, all members of
• Avoid getting into “us versus them” scenarios by
focusing your message on the benefits for everyone in the community.
• Use personal stories rather than statistics to make
the issue more relatable.
•Point out the community benefits: economic
growth, more workers and customers for businesses, better educational outcomes for children.
• Connect around universal values: health, security, safety, fairness, opportunity for all.
• Train volunteers and staff on how to deliver
• Spread the word on any platforms where you
are comfortable: websites, brochures, social
media guru, videos, email campaigns, etc. The
more opportunities you provide to engage your
audience, the better your chances for success.
Links to Effective Affordable Housing Campaigns and Tools:
Housing for All: https://www.cnhed.org/housing-for-all-campaign/
National Housing Conference: http://hub.nhc.org/toolkit/messaging-framing
Washington Low Income Housing Alliance: http://wliha.org/about-us/what-we-do/communication
Photos courtesy of BRIDGE Housing