Communications Resources

Glossary of Key Housing Terms

Whether you’re new to the affordable housing sector or just need a refresher, HDC’s Housing Terms Glossary will help you stay up to date with common terms and acronyms. This includes helpful definitions relating to zoning/land use.

Piecing it Together: A Framing Playbook for Affordable Housing Advocates

Useful for: Communicating affordable housing using frames that create collective “buy-in”

This resource provides 7 useful frames to plug your message into to make it accessible to your audience. These recommendations emerge from extensive research by the FrameWorks Institute in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners. Webinar by Dr. Tiffany Manuel and Dr. Drew Volmert.

How to Have Conversations about Homelessness

Useful for: Combating common tropes of assumed realities of solving homelessness and who experiences homelessness

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Make it personal
  3. Use real-life examples
  4. Affirm the parts of their statement that are true
  5. Emphasize the positives

You Don’t Have to Live Here: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It

Useful for: Combating the individualism mindset entrenched in the “American Dream” notions around housing

As we continue down the path of housing communications and storytelling, this research is an important reminder to be mindful of the individualism mindset that leads people to associate housing insecurity with personal choice and responsibility. The recommendations found here help reinforce the need to talk about the systems that perpetuate inequities and take away choice, and how we all are impacted by those systems.

Top 5 Tips for Getting Better Media Coverage, HDC

Useful for: Pitching stories to the media, media relations

These tips were compiled from Homelessness In The Media, a forum presented by Eastside Homelessness Advisory Committee (EHAC) and Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County (HDC) in May 2013.

Top 5 Tips for Getting Better Media Coverage

Advocacy Messaging 101, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance (video)

Useful for: Messaging, values framing, state legislative advocacy, Housing Trust Fund

Our state partner, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance, hosted a webinar in 2013 with Michael Anderson, Deputy Director of the Housing Trust Fund Project at the Center for Community Change. In this one-hour recording, Michael discusses how to use values-based messaging in advocating to legislators.

National Housing Conference Housing Communications HUB

Useful for: Examples of successful communications campaigns, peer-to-peer exchange, messaging, framing, social media

Create a profile and connect with others in the field. Browse the resource library, where you’ll find examples of successful communications tools and strategies from NHC and the Center for Housing Policy, as well as from members and partners nationwide. As a HUB user, you can also share examples of your own communications work.

Messaging and Framing Toolkit, National Housing Conference

Useful for: Messaging, framing, communications strategy, choosing the right messenger, shaping the narrative

This toolkit, created by Neighborhood Partnerships and the Oregon Housing Alliance, summarizes communications strategies these organizations have tested through polling, focus groups, and in
successive legislative sessions.

Building Support for Affordable Homeownership and Rental Choices, Center for Housing Policy

Useful for: Public opinion research, language, and messaging research

This brief draws on  35 research studies related to affordable housing communications, summarizes key findings regarding public opinion, messages, and language, and provides suggestions for further research that could add to our understanding of how to communicate effectively about housing affordability.

Solutions for Housing Communications: National Housing Conference 2015 Convening, Plenary and Workshop Presentation Slides

Useful for: Building acceptance for affordable housing

In April 2015, the National Housing Conference hosted its annual convening in Seattle, focusing on communications strategies that build acceptance for affordable housing. Topics of plenary sessions and workshops range from “The Psychology and Language of NIMBY,” to “Best Practices in Community Acceptance for Developers and Allies.”

Video of all Plenary Sessions (Free registration required)