This year will be an exciting time to promote Home Opportunity - the idea that we all deserve access to an affordable home under fair and sustainable terms. Recently, NeighborWorks America announced, after a yearlong campaign by housing advocates, that federal TARP funds are being made available through Making Home Affordable programs to support counseling and outreach for homeowners applying for foreclosure prevention assistance; Forty-five members of the House of Representatives wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to appoint a permanent leader to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, one who will support aggressive steps to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure; and the debate continues over mortgage principal reduction by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
These events provide a unique communications opportunity for leaders concerned with foreclosures, fair lending, fair housing, and restoring family and community assets. This is a moment for op-eds, blog posts, letters to the editor, and other communications that tell our story to a public that is poised to hear it, and to policymakers experiencing renewed pressure to act.
To help you make the best use of this moment, The Opportunity Agenda has assembled a body of messaging advice, policy solutions, and opinion research that can inform and contribute to your advocacy on this issue.
Value, Problem, Solution, Action. We recommend highlighting the values and principles that Americans attach to housing and homeownership; the real causes and harm of the housing and mortgage crises; and concrete solutions to the crises, linked with the action your audience can take. For example:
“Access to an affordable home in a good neighborhood is critical to the American promise of opportunity, and to our nation’s economic security. But misconduct by the lending industry and inadequate rules and enforcement helped to wreck our economy and deny that promise to millions of Americans. Fortunately, solutions exist that can prevent further foreclosures and restore the American Dream. They include steps like mandatory mediation, reducing loan principal to fair market rates, and ensuring that reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac keep homeownership available to working Americans. The Administration and Congress should work together to implement these solutions today.”
Real Solutions. For help translating often dense or complex housing policy solutions into media-friendly and policy-ready forms, click here to download our solutions document: Thirteen Things America Can Do to Stop Foreclosures and Fulfill the American Dream.
Inspiring Examples. For inspiration, read these selected quotes and commentary on Home Opportunity by our accomplished 2011 Communications Institute Fellows.
Understand Public Attitudes. On most of the issues that comprise Home Opportunity, the public shares our values and supports positive solutions. Read our analysis of public opinion research on homeownership and the American Dream.
If you are interested in participating in collaborative Home Opportunity communications and field activities, e-mail Eva-Marie Malone at emmalone [at] opportunityagenda [dot] org, or Nancy Wilberg Ricks at nwilberg [at] nclr [dot] org. Also, share your success. When you successfully place or post media commentary on Home Opportunity, e-mail us links at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post your stories to our Facebook page.
Become a member of our Home Opportunity GroupSite! Catch up on the latest housing news, collaborate with fellow Home Opportunity Coalition members, and see the resources The Opportunity Agenda can provide to you!
This is a moment for op-eds, blog posts, letters to the editor, and other communications that tell our story to a public that is poised to hear it, and to policymakers experiencing new pressure to act. To help you make the best use of this moment, The Opportunity Agenda has assembled a body of messaging advice, policy solutions, and opinion research that can inform and contribute to your advocacy on this issue.
Misconduct by banks and lenders, inadequate rules and enforcement, and record unemployment rates are robbing millions of Americans of their homes and security while ravaging whole communities and holding back our national recovery. Clear solutions do exist to prevent foreclosures and restore communities today while repairing the American Dream into the future.