Activating Community Voices for Equitable Housing Elements

NPH has developed resources that boost our members and partners’ capacity to fight for housing and racial justice through the Housing Elements process: a once-in-a-decade opportunity to address current housing problems, invest in our communities and create better housing options for all. In partnership with Shift the Bay, we’re providing below: message guide, trainings, and organizing tools (including videos, graphics, and more) that effectively reach diverse communities and encourage action-oriented engagement.


Every eight years, the California Department of Housing and Community Development determines the amount of housing each region must produce to meet the needs of existing and future residents. Local jurisdictions design Housing Elements to identify development sites, as well as policies that protect tenants/ residents and preserve affordable housing options.

An important new law, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, now requires plans to prioritize the needs of communities of color and other historically marginalized and under-resourced groups.

Messaging Guidance

We know the Housing Elements cycle can be a complicated, intimidating process for advocates and residents alike. In an effort to break down these barriers, we’ve refined months of research and community engagement into a comprehensive Housing Elements Effective Messaging Guide designed to help:

  • Describe Housing Elements to someone new to the process
  • Motivate residents to advocate for the needs of their communities
  • Prepare advocates to take action and promote equitable policies

You can find our guide below, as well as a training presentation that provides step-by-step guidance for using this resource to inspire inclusive action on Housing Elements.

This training will walk you through how to take advantage of this tool to effectively reach residents across the region and inspire inclusive action on Housing Elements:

Organizing Materials

Community input is an essential part of the Housing Elements process. Whether you’re activating the digital space or working with folks in-person, organizing is one of the most effective ways we can mobilize residents to speak out about their experiences, concerns, and priorities. We offer resources to support both methods of organizing that include:

Yellow graphic with small building that says "your voice matters."
Gif saying "It's up to us"
graphic saying "housing justice now" in Spanish
Quote on blue background talking about once in a lifetime opportunity

Housing Elements Research Memo

Want to dig deeper into the Shift the Bay narrative research that informed these recommendations? NPH has developed a research memo on the robust research program conducted through the Shift the Bay initiative 2019 – 2021.

This memo aims to share what we learned about Bay Area voter and resident housing values and specifically what that means for Housing Elements conversations and community engagement.

Cover of Shift the Narrative research memo

More Resources

Learn more! Here are some recommended additional resources for learning more about Housing Elements and related policies: