Share These Tested Messages in Your Community
Housing Narrative Lab is offering small grants to organizations like yours to build narrative power around the country.
Housing Narrative Lab’s latest research identified narratives that help people better understand that homelessness is the result of systemic causes, such as a severe lack of affordable housing, racist and exclusionary housing policies and jobs that don’t pay a living wage.
You can watch all of the messages below and learn more about how each helps people understand the reality of homelessness. Read the full report here.
Forced Into Homelessness
– Most positive impact on helping people understand that a person is more likely to experience homelessness because affordable housing, a living wage, quality education, and other opportunities have been put out of their reach.
– Most positive impact to grow sentiment that ending homelessness should be a top priority for elected officials in the United States to address this year.
– Three-quarters of respondents found this video both credible and convincing.
– Moves Southern adults and Latinx people away from blaming homelessness on bad choices.
Ranked slightly lower in persuading white and Native American respondents that homelessness should be a top priority for lawmakers to solve this year.
– First overall in increasing support for building affordable housing.
– First among Black voters in increasing support for building affordable housing.
– First among Hispanic voters in increasing support for building affordable housing.
– First overall, and among all demographic groups, on being deemed most credible.
– First overall, and among all demographic groups, on being deemed most convincing.
– A very close second overall on making ending homelessness a top priority (including first among Hispanics), trailing only the RCN ad (which is not nearly as strong on other metrics).
– Especially likely to encourage moderately liberal women, people in urban communities and adults in the West to favor building more affordable housing and housing for people experiencing homelessness, even if it increases their taxes.
– Moves very liberal and Black people away from blaming homelessness on bad choices.
– Leads people to prioritize homelessness for elected officials across demographics except among very conservative adults, adults in the Northeast, and Black adults.
Performed similarly to Forced into Homelessness, but does not result in a statistically significant difference in people’s views of the reasons why a person may be more likely to experience homelessness.
– Rated credible and convincing by a solid majority of adults.
– Leads liberal, non-college, and adults in the Northeast to say a person is more likely to experience homelessness because affordable housing, a living wage, quality education, and other opportunities have been put out of their reach is closer to their opinion.
Race Class Narrative
Proved strong in persuading people across all demographics – except for very conservative people – that ending homelessness should be a top priority for elected officials.
Does not impact viewers’ stance on why people may experience homelessness or their position on affordable housing.
– Rated as credible and convincing by a solid majority of adults and there is no backlash effect.
– Encourages Latinx adults to favor building more affordable housing and housing for people experiencing homelessness, even if it increases their taxes.
– Does well overall with the base – people who believe that systemic barriers are forcing people into homelessness.
– Encourages likely voters, college and post-grad adults, and men to blame institutional barriers.
– Backfires among very liberal adults in terms of blaming homelessness on bad choices.
– Doesn’t encourage adults to favor investments in affordable housing.
– Doesn’t encourage conservatives, non-college adults, women, rural, adults outside of the West, Black, Asian, or Indigenous adults or conservatives to prioritize ending homelessness.
A Place to Call Home
– Encourages adults in the West to favor building more affordable housing and housing for the homeless, even if it increases their taxes.
– Encourages adults in the West to favor prioritizing homelessness for elected officials.
Backfires with adults in the West, who are more likely to blame homelessness on bad choices after seeing the video.
Gains in peoples’ prioritization of homelessness for elected officials is modest across demographics.
Especially likely to impact how women and non-college adults blame structural barriers for homelessness.
– Backfires among Latinx adults and leads this demographic to blame bad choices.
– Fails to move people toward supporting investments in affordable housing or making ending homelessness a priority.
Rated credible and convincing to at least 6 in 10 adults across demographics.
Imagine a World
Performed best among men, Asian, suburban and adults in the Northeast in terms of helping them understand the structural causes of homelessness rather than individual “bad choices.”
Adults in rural areas and the South tend to oppose building more affordable housing after seeing this video.
Credibility and convincing ratings are solid, but modest compared to the top testing messages across demographics.
Does not seem to move people on our core metrics.
We tested eight messages conveyed in 30-second videos to measure how effective each was at deepening understanding of the causes of homelessness among a national audience. A variety of messages that we tested helped people broaden their perceptions and increased support for proven solutions like the need for more housing that people can afford. Certain messages worked better with specific populations.
We’re offering a limited number of $500-$1,000 grants for grassroots and national organizations to boost these messages in support of your housing campaign, program or project. Fill out a simple application here. Regardless of whether you take advantage of this funding opportunity, we encourage organizations to incorporate these messages and the 30-second videos into your strategic communications.