Narrative to Shift Public Will

Building public will through narrative change is one of the key levers for creating a sustained movement for housing reform, and advocates across the state are hungry for evidence-based narrative research and easy-to-use communications tools to effect change. 

Research to Resource the Field 

To that end, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative — guided by a steering committee composed of seasoned housing advocates from across California — supported a multi-year, mixed-methods research process to examine and analyze California voter sentiment and attitudes toward a wide slate of reforms, policies, and approaches to housing affordability. 

The ‘California Dream’ narrative was identified through research conducted by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s (CZI) Public Opinion and Survey Science research team, in partnership with CZI’s Housing Affordability team. This collaborative effort identified a unifying narrative to shift attitudes and values in support of housing reforms across California. 

This narrative research project builds upon an existing body of research and is developed as part of an iterative ecosystem to support advocates working to address housing issues in California. Designed as a resource for housing advocates, the hope is that this work adds evidence-based depth and breadth to advance pro-housing policies and practices, build on existing expertise from the field, and help ensure every Californian has a safe, stable, and affordable place to call home.

This research unearthed the deep sentiments driving the conversations on housing in California; sentiments that transcend the typical boundaries of geography, race, class, gender, and political affiliation to reveal a uniquely Californian approach; an approach we hope will enable critical conversations that will lead to support for solutions to the housing crisis constraining our state. 

Tools to Drive the Conversation 

This website was created to share the research findings and methodology, as well as tools to help housing advocates put the ideas into action. Our goal is to offer data-driven messages and resources to inform housing advocates’ real-time work, as well as practical, actionable tools to make narrative efforts easier for advocates to engage — and succeed — in securing housing reforms across California. 

We hope this website serves as an ongoing resource for advocates committed to exploring new ways of communicating about housing — and the site will be updated as new case studies emerge from partners putting these narrative recommendations into practice. 

Smiling woman sitting on steps in front of her home