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Everyone knows that good housing costs too much. But this isn’t changing policy. Different frames are important in addressing this issue and getting it right.

Although concern around housing costs is a regular feature in our public and media conversation, little changes in how the system works.

Framing can help. An affordability frame leads people to think in terms of personal budgets and individual responsibility. An availability frame, on the other hand, points people to the role of public policy in providing access.

The housing equity narrative needs to shift in its balance between “problems” and “solutions”. The movement’s challenge isn’t to convince the public that the system is broken; the challenge is to show that it can be fixed.

Explore guidance on how to frame housing, homelessness, and related issues here.

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Frame Testing Recommendations

Piecing It Together: A Communications Playbook for Affordable Housing Advocates

How can we lead more productive public conversations about inclusive housing policy, community development, and affordable housing? This playbook helps us reframe.


Finding a Frame for Affordable Housing

Findings from reframing research on affordable housing and community development.


Reframing Homelessness in the United Kingdom

This report lays out an overarching framing strategy to help advocates in the U.K. expand public understanding of homelessness.


Reframing Affordable Housing: Findings from Peer Discourse Sessions

FrameWorks researchers observed small-group discussions (peer discourse sessions) to explore how people think about affordable housing - and learn which frames can change minds.


Finding a Better Frame: How to Create More Effective Messages on Homelessness in the United Kingdom

This report explores public thinking about homelessness in the United Kingdom and documents how the issue is framed in advocacy and media materials.


Mixing It Up: Reframing Neighborhood Socioeconomic Diversity

This comprehensive MessageMemo synthesizes FrameWorks research about socioeconomic mixing.


“You Don’t Have to Live Here”: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It

Housing is the starting point for life trajectories—often determining who has access to good jobs, good food, safe parks, or effective schools. But this perspective is difficult for the public...


Not Telling the Whole Story: Media and Organizational Discourse about Affordable Housing

The stories Americans hear about affordable housing can create opportunities for change or impede progress in the policy arena.


“A House, a Tent, a Box”: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Healthy Housing

This study compares public and expert understandings of housing.


Nature Doesn’t Pay My Bills: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Urban Nature and Health

This report compares and contrasts the different ways experts and everyday Americans think about nature, urban life and human wellbeing.


Talking Environmental Health: A FrameWorks MessageMemo

How can we frame environmental health in ways that build support for the infrastructure and funding it takes to do the work? This MessageMemo offers a strategy.


People, Polar Bears, and the Potato Salad: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Environmental Health

People don't know the term 'environmental health' - and think it must have something to do with keeping our planet clean and green. How can we reframe?