You Don’t Have to Live in Housing Here

Debunking Affordable Housing Perceptions Through Improved Community Conversation

In October, Enterprise Community Partners published “You Don’t Have to Live Here”: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It.

The report identifies common affordable housing criticisms and provides housing advocates recommendations for responding to those criticisms.

The report uses research conducted by FrameWorks Institute to provide evidence-based messaging recommendations to respond to negative, and oftentimes unsubstantiated, public perceptions surrounding affordable housing.

You Don’t Have to Live in Housing Here“This is deeply challenging work. To do it well, we have to do a much better job connecting housing issues to the chief concerns of public audiences. These audiences can be tough to influence; may not have time to listen to all of the facts and data we have to offer; are concerned that their housing values may go down if “affordable housing” is located nearby; and are not won over by the sad stories we have to tell about the growing number of individuals who are facing impossible housing constraints. To make matters worse, while the evidence that housing matters is strong, our pie charts, facts, and figures have limited utility when people feel disconnected from housing as a shared public concern. To understand how to connect in new ways, we need to understand why our current messages are failing to win the day. We need to understand why our messages are backfiring.”

The study aims to bring to light the widespread challenges to finding quality affordable housing, and how inadequate affordable housing options affect a much wider socioeconomic range of people than commonly understood.

The paper also highlights the frequency of cost-burdened rents across all income levels, the effect of falling and stagnant wages on housing affordability, and the concept that housing is a shared public concern.

You Don’t Have to Live Here

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