Overview: Addressing the need for Housing in your community will require a carefully articulated rationale. Here is a guide to help you build a powerful advocacy message.
Use a Value, Problem, and Solution Frame
Value: The value explains your vision for the community, state, and society. It should be the purpose and goal that underpins why we need the proposed solution.
Example: “Children deserve a chance to succeed in school and in life, which all begins with their families being able to afford a decent place to live.”
Problem: This is a clear statement of the problem we are trying to fix, described in a way that everyone can relate to.
Example: “In the 2013-14 school year more than 117,000 students were counted as experiencing homelessness in the state of NY. Students experiencing homelessness have drastically reduced proficiency scores on math, reading, and science.” http://nysteachs.org/info-topic/statistics.html
Solution: Every message should be tied to the solution we are proposing, as well as the values and outcomes it would accomplish.
Example: “Promoting the local investment in family friendly housing opportunities and affordable homes that can serve as a stable foundation for students to build success and ensure every child in New York can reach their full potential.”
Effective Homeless and Housing Messaging
Identify several value messages that resonate with people in your community. By framing affordable housing issues in terms of closely held values, these messages can build support for our work.
- Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.
- It should be possible for working people to afford a home and still have enough left over for the basics like groceries and gas and childcare.
- Children deserve a chance to succeed in school and in life, which all begins with their families being able to afford a decent place to live.
- It’s better for society, the environment, and families if people can afford to live close to where they work.
Fair Housing website (MortgageCalculator.org)
Equal Opportunity Housing (NationalFairHousing.org)
Media Advocacy Toolkit (Washington Low Income Housing Alliance)
Affordable Rental Housing Action (RentalHousingaction.org)
The Ethics of NIMBYism (Citizens Handbook)
America’s Shameful Child Homelessness Record (Think Progress)
Child Homelessness Statistics (National Center on Family Homelessness)
Number of Homeless Children in America Surges to All-time High (Huffington Post)
Child Homelessness Reaches All-time High (Newsweek)
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