Purpose of the Project

California’s Housing Crisis 

California is facing a historic housing affordability crisis. From San Diego to Eureka and everywhere in between, residents, policymakers, business leaders, and community advocates all agree there’s a dire shortage of safe, stable, affordable housing across the Golden State. 

While Californians can all agree we’re facing a serious affordable housing crisis, opinions diverge when it comes to the right solutions. Advocates across the state are now focused on building greater public will to align Californians around comprehensive, effective responses to our shared housing crisis. 

The Call for a New Conversation 

Housing advocates across California have voiced the need for a statewide narrative framework to guide us toward approaches that really work. The existing deep-rooted narratives on housing have been an obstacle to efforts for change, creating an uphill battle for many important policy initiatives on housing preservation, protection, and production.

The often localized nature of housing advocacy work means that resources dedicated to strategic communications and narrative work tend to be short-term, campaign-based, and reactive. Similarly, housing advocacy and messaging research are often focused on one specific policy at a time, and are not designed to converge to change the larger narrative context in which those fights take place. Housing advocates across California are ready for an effective narrative approach that will help them make progress and ultimately win.

With values-based research and training on how to deploy effective narrative strategy, California’s housing affordability movement will be better positioned to reshape the statewide conversation on housing. Using a cohesive narrative can dispel counterproductive narratives and ultimately shift public opinion in favor of housing solutions. By advancing the idea that housing is a fundamental right, we can demonstrate and sustain the public will to advance reforms statewide.

Advocates Advancing Ideas

This project is grounded in the needs identified by housing advocates, and guided by their perspectives and expertise at every step of the way. This toolkit is offered to support California’s housing advocates working to advance a wide range of approaches, engagement, and action amongst diverse audiences throughout the state. Working together in a shared narrative framework, we can pave the way for a wide range of much-needed solutions to the ongoing housing affordability crisis in California. 

Tangible Tools 

This website was created to offer practical tools – like template messaging, sample op eds, and more – so advocates can ramp up their outreach efforts to communities across the state. The goal of the narrative research is to translate findings into actionable resources for advocates in the field. 

Street photo of public artwork // Discover Fresno / unsplash.com