Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NHC’s housing communications: Building on success, growing our work

News from NHC
by Amy Clark, National Housing Conference 

In 2015, NHC worked to expand its communications offerings and provide more resources to meet your needs. Looking ahead, we want your input on what to tackle next.

Convening on communications solutions
Our Solutions for Housing Communications 2015 Convening in Seattle focused on the many ways we can build support for affordable housing in our communities, and NHC followed up on that convening with a brief on proven techniques to engage community members and counter opposition. Our members have made clear that building support for affordable housing continues to be a key challenge, so we’re sticking with the theme for next year. The 2016 Solutions for Housing Communications Convening will travel to New York City in April to build on what we’ve learned and add a northeastern perspective to the issue. Good news—registration is now open! This convening is sure to sell out, so register now to guarantee your spot.

Building a housing communications agenda
As we’ve worked to build our communications work into a full-fledged program, we’ve realized the need for a clear agenda that will drive our work, much the way NHC has developed policy and research agendas. Our new housing communications agenda calls on us to focus on three work areas: values-based messaging and other science-backed communications techniques; building support for affordable housing and countering community opposition (a.k.a. the “NIMBY” problem); and monitoring public opinion of housing and related issues.

This year, I’ve had the opportunity to give presentations on values-based messaging and train housers to develop these high-impact messages on their own, and developed a communications toolkit specifically focused on veterans’ housing. Look out for more trainings from me in 2016, as well as some deeper dives into topics like storytelling, building support for supportive housing and a review of major national public opinion findings. 

New resources, with your input
Looking forward to 2016, NHC aims to grow our housing communications resources in ways that truly meet your needs. Does that mean strengthening the Housing Communications HUB, our online community? Does that mean more in-person networking and education events for housing communicators? Does that mean providing resources on topics beyond our housing communications agenda? You can help us answer these questions and shape our work going forward by participating in our Housing Communications Survey. Answer the seven questions in the survey and be entered to win a free registration at Solutions for Housing Communications 2016.

NHC is committed to providing the resources you need to move housing forward and to help increase the housing communications capacity of the field. We hear from housers across the country that effective communication is important to you, no matter what policy issue you care about or your role in the work. Take our survey, share your communications questions and successes on the Housing Communications HUB and get ready for another year of meeting housing communications challenges together. 

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