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How to Advocate for Affordable Housing

No matter where you look, you hear about the cost of living and inflation. We have been on the precipice of a major housing crisis for years and it looks as though it has come. Many people want to act and do something to help support a more sustainable housing system. But how do you advocate for affordable housing?

Learn About Affordable Housing 

The first thing you need to do to advocate for affordable housing is educate yourself. You do not need to be an expert or have a PhD in community development. You simply need to be aware of the issues. Read local news and be aware of what is happening in your community. 

If you want to go beyond local news, a great resource is the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The CMHC’s mission is to ensure affordable housing for all in Canada. There is a wealth of information and knowledge to be gleaned from their website.

Be Involved Locally 

Affordable housing is a crisis that everyone is facing. It is not an issue that is separate from ourselves or is far away from us. In order to advocate for affordable housing, it is vital to be involved at a community level.

Aside from listening to local news sources about housing issues, go to community events. Often, you can find local officials who will be holding town halls or meetings with the community. Attend those events and speak to officials about affordable housing. Make sure that it is an issue that everyone knows is important.

Find local organizations, charities or even social media groups that talk about housing issues. It can feel less daunting being an advocate if there is a group of likeminded people with you. 

Happipad affrordable housing women speaking to one another
Simply speaking to others about affordable housing is the biggest way to be an advocate (Photo via Christina Morillo)

Be Vocal

We all have our own experiences with housing. It is something everyone can relate to and understand. Talk about it. Don’t be afraid to speak about affordable housing with those close to you. To affect real change, there needs to be community support. Your individual support and being vocal can convince one person, who can convince another. It creates this domino effect that can truly make a difference in your community. 

Be Open To New Possibilities 

Affordable housing is not something that will be fixed by any one thing. It will take several initiatives and organizations and strategies to fix the housing issues we are facing. So, be open to new things. 

We are seeing more and more people living with roommates into their late 20’s and 30’s. There are more people live in multigenerational housing with their parents. We are seeing more people emphasize living in smaller homes, creating less geographical impact. 

In the past, all of these could be seen as a negative or some type of failure. Don’t fall into that habit. Be aware why people chose these options, support them and advocate for them. 

Affordable housing will come in many shapes and forms, it is important that you do your best to advocate for different alternatives. 

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