How to Talk About Affordable Housing Toolkit


What is affordable housing?

Broad public understanding of affordable housing is critical to advance efforts to protect neighbors from displacement, preserve existing affordable housing, and build more affordable housing. SV@Home created this toolkit in response to concerns around a lack of clarity on what affordable housing is and how to talk about it which we’ve heard from across our membership organizations and community members, neighbors and advocates, and was backed up by local research with focus groups.

These tools are designed to help you understand our housing crisis and empower you with ways to talk about affordable housing that help address community concerns.

Defining Affordable Housing:

All 3 of these responses encompass our definition of Affordable Housing and each address a specific aspect of its’ benefit to our communities. Use them together as one or individually as you see best depending on the context and questions you are engaging with:

What is the benefit of affordable housing?

  • Affordable housing is an asset that sustains and strengthens our communities by ensuring we all have a safe, stable home.

What problem does affordable housing address?

  • Affordable housing is the public’s answer to addressing the needs of people harmed by our housing market. It is a bridge between our current inequitable system and a place where everyone in our community can thrive.

Who does affordable housing help and how?

  • Affordable housing provides a range of housing solutions that each address the diverse needs of local residents who cannot afford the cost of housing in Silicon Valley.

Messaging Affordable Housing:

When engaging in conversations on affordable housing, advocates often struggle to remain consistent in their responses which can lead to a lack of clarity especially when engaging with individuals who are not familiar with the term. We have created this messaging framework, the 5 S’s, to help guide your communications and create a cohesive foundation to support you all in these critical conversations. Below you will find graphics of the 5 S’s that you can use on social media, in slides, or as an internal resource for your organizations.

Click here for the 5 S’s Graphics

Learn more about our Foundations of Affordable Housing and How We Talk About Affordable Housing trainings here.

Stay tuned for a full messaging and social media toolkit as well as an inside look at our messaging training.