Piecing it Together: A Framing Playbook for Affordable Housing Advocates

Piecing it Together: Elevating the Issue, Explaining Disparities, Making the Case for Community Development Organizations & Highlighting Solutions

Enterprise Community Partners has published “Piecing it Together: A Framing Playbook for Affordable Housing Advocates.”

This Piecing it Together playbook distills and illustrates a set of practical recommendations to achieve four important communications goals:

  • Elevate the issue. Build broader understanding of why affordable housing and community development are matters of public concern
  • Explain disparities. Help people understand what restricts access to quality affordable housing and how racial discrimination contributes to problems.
  • Make the case for community development organizations. Specify how they help to ensure equitable development.
  • Highlight solutions. Emphasize that more effective approaches are within our reach.

These Piecing it Together recommendations emerge from an extensive investigation by the FrameWorks Institute in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners.

An effective framing strategy is needed to build public understanding of affordable housing and community development and generate support for change. The right framing will help combat consumerist thinking, generate a more structural understanding of problems with housing and solutions to address them, and inoculate against NIMBYism and skepticism of public intervention in housing.

The Finding a Frame for Affordable Housing report outlines the findings from a series of interrelated investigations aimed at finding effective frames. Its purpose is to outline and explain the evidence base behind the recommendations emerging from this project.

The authors hope that a transparent approach to the research, and its methods and findings, will enable advocates to trust and share the recommended re-framing techniques.

This report is accompanied by a companion playbook for advocates, which translates the findings reported here into a “how to” framing guide and clear set of “do’s and don’ts” for communications practice.

More detail on the studies can be found in a companion research report, Finding a Frame for Affordable Housing.

Enterprise Community Partners works with the mission is to create opportunity for low- and moderate-income people through affordable housing in diverse, thriving communities.

The FrameWorks Institute is an interdisciplinary team of social scientists and communications practitioners who work with advocates, policymakers, educators, and funders from around the country and abroad to reframe social and scientific issues. The FrameWorks Institute works to advance the nonprofit sector’s communications capacity by identifying, translating, and modeling relevant scholarly research to frame the public discourse on social problems.

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