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Advocating for Housing: Using a National PSA on a Local Level

Many advocates struggle with the best way to spread awareness to a social justice issue. A public service announcement (PSA) is a video or audio message with the objective of raising awareness, changing public attitudes and behavior towards those issues. The ReThink:Why Housing Matters initiative recently wanted to continue to make large strides in challenging the negative perceptions Americans have about public and affordable housing while creating new tools for housing organizations to locally promote the message. The goal of creating the PSA was to showcase that public and affordable housing provides a foundation from which residents gain a stable and supportive community for themselves and their families, opportunities for education and career training, and ultimately, the opportunity for financial self-sufficiency to succeed outside of public housing.

These videos are essentially for housing agencies, lobbyists, or even concerned citizens to utilize in their advocacy efforts. To truly understand the impact that public and affordable housing has, you must speak to those who are the most affected by these organizations, the residents. The videos feature four current and former-residents who embody the hardworking, determined individuals who live in these properties.

The videos can serve as an advocacy tool on social networks. An individual can share the PSA entitled, “ReThink: Why Housing Matters PSA” on social media platforms and websites, and encourage individuals to learn more about the people featured in the videos by watching the long-form video entitled “ReThink: Debunking the Myth of Who Lives in Public and Affordable Housing.” The ReThink initiative has also prepared a toolkit for individuals to utilize as a resource to share these new videos and further encourage Americans to realize the benefits that public and affordable housing offer within their local communities. The toolkit provides access to the PSA and long-form video; online video embeds instructions, downloadable ReThink logos, and messaging materials to use with the video including how to use the videos to spark discussion about housing in your local communities.

For additional information on ReThink, you can visit to watch short-form documentaries featuring inspiring success stories from residents of public housing.

For more information on how to launch or begin your own advocacy initiative, click here to read another blog post. For a step by step resources regarding advocacy in the housing industry, visit our Advocacy Guide here.