Chances are you, or someone you know, has lived in “affordable housing.” Most vibrant, thriving communities have a range of housing opportunities for a variety of people: seniors, families, tradesman, service professionals, young adults, disabled, those in transition or struggling to make ends meet. Yet, in Chicago and throughout Illinois, fewer and fewer renters are able to afford the cost of a two-bedroom apartment.
The Valuing Affordability Public Awareness campaign combines advertising, media outreach, and education to affect perceptions about affordable housing at the local, city and state levels.
A multi-year advertising effort will promote community acceptance, and encourage community residents and policy makers to support solutions to the affordable housing crisis. Radio, television, billboard, newspaper and magazine ads will provide accurate images of affordable housing, raise awareness about the benefits of affordable housing, and encourage community involvement. These ads will be made available to organizations throughout the region for use in local neighborhood media.
The Valuing Affordability “Media Toolbox” will help residents and community development organizations communicate more effectively about affordable housing. Housing specific media trainings will help housing advocates recognize good stories and get messages out to local press. Sample press releases, letters to the editor, housing fact sheets, and local media guides will generate coverage of affordable housing.
The heart of the public awareness effort will be a corps of advocates and activists organized to educate residents and elected officials about the inherent value of affordable housing. The corps will operate proactively and reactively by targeting local officials and working with them to promote policies favorable to housing, and by supporting affordable housing development in neighborhoods throughout the city.
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