Community support and approval are often two of the biggest hurdles to housing affordability. While many communities may acknowledge the need to address affordability issues and adopt housing goals and strategies, community opposition and resistance to change can block sound housing policy and development from moving forward. Planning must no longer be a tool for those who only want to avoid change. Instead, planning can, and should, be an instrument to build equitable communities for all.

engage, listen, respond

The planning community can play a key role in countering opposition. Building public support for housing affordability means engaging the community early and often and listening to and addressing community values and concerns. An outreach strategy can guide planners toward engaging the public and key stakeholders in conversations about housing need, demand, and trends, as well as the consequences of inaction.

Listening sessions can lead to greater agreement on community priorities and create an impetus for change. Other methods of outreach and opportunities for engagement should be inclusive and responsive to a broad range of constituents. Policies and practice should incorporate early public engagement and establish a common framework for delivering the projects envisioned in plans.

Dig In

APA resources illuminate the issue and prepare you to act in your community.

PAS Quicknotes

Using Online Tools for Public Engagement

Rethinking the way planners engage with people living in a community matters now more than ever. Garner critical community support by leveraging new and popular outreach tools in order to reach a broader audience.