Cultivating Community Solutions to the Housing Crisis

This short video was created by HSN’s volunteer Outreach Housing Action Team to educate the community about the housing crisis and some innovative responses of local individuals. As of June 2020 the team has shown this video to over 400 people around Jefferson County at screenings with neighborhood groups, faith groups, service clubs, and more. These screenings were followed by facilitated conversations, so that people could process the information and ask questions together. The Outreach team chose to distribute the video in this way to inspire people to take action as individuals while continuing to grapple with the issue as collectives. Read about how one group chose to take action!

In releasing the video online we hope to reach broader audience with this critical message. We hope that this video will spark conversations about housing with your neighbors, friends, and colleagues. Below is a list of ways you can get engaged. You may find that the video lacks a clear “call to action,” but this reflects the reality that there is no silver bullet to the housing crisis. It will take many individuals shifting their ways of thinking about and engaging with housing, sustained pressure on government (local, state, and national) to prioritize zoning and permitting regulations that allow for multifamily units and incentivize the building of modest, affordable homes, and it will take a collective decision to prioritize housing for the people whose work allows our community to function.

“Our local housing solutions will require wide community involvement, and each of us who are interested in getting involved have different interests, gifts and talents we might be able to bring to bear on those solutions.” – Outreach Housing Action Team Member

LEARN

  • View our Get Inspired! page for a list of ways to engage in housing.

  • Check out HSN’s Housing Action Teams and reach out to the listed contacts to join a group.

  •  Understand the unique roles of our local housing organizations, and support those organizations.

  • Host a screening of this video for your church, service club, neighborhood, group of friends, coworkers, etc. The screening (either in person or via an online video conference call platform) will be followed by a facilitated conversation with our Outreach Housing Action Team. Contact justine@jcfgives.org to begin!
ACT
  • Tell your officials (City Councilors or County Commissioners) that you care about housing, and you want to see policy changes that support density, affordability, and inclusionary zoning.

  • Talk to your neighbors, friends, and colleagues who have empty units (second homes, ADUs, basement apartments) about the housing crisis. Most people don’t realize the impact that their individual action could have.

  • If you currently own a vacation rental, consider the personal and community benefit of transitioning that unit into a residential rental. You get a stable tenant, the community gets another housing unit, and one more person is able to stay here, stay housed, or accept a local job.

  • If you are a landlord with financial means, consider the community benefit of keeping your unit(s) below market rate.

  • Host a screening of this video for your church, service club, neighborhood, group of friends, coworkers, etc. The screening (either in person or via an online video conference call platform) will be followed by a facilitated conversation with our Outreach Housing Action Team. Contact justine@jcfgives.org to begin!

  • Donate to local housing organizations.

  • Support Housing Solutions Network through making a donation or joining our Giving Circle.

Comments and questions can be directed to HSN Network Weaver Justine at justine@jcfgives.org

Enormous gratitude goes out to the anonymous donor who enabled HSN to pay filmmaker Michael McCurdy to create this video.