Supportive housing combines housing and services for people experiencing homelessness to help them achieve and maintain housing stability. Neighbours, local government and other groups often have questions about supportive housing and its effect on neighbourhoods and property values.
BC Housing’s Community Benefits of Supportive Housing tool answers those questions with infographics and accessible content. The tool offers concise summaries and key messages based on high-quality local housing research. The content and visuals are social media friendly and help raise awareness and acceptance of supportive housing within communities.
The Community Benefits of Supportive Housing tool was awarded the 2020 CMHC Gold Roof Award for Knowledge to Action.
Key Findings / Key Goals
Infographics and summaries can make high-quality, complex research accessible to many readers, including those outside of the housing industry.
High-quality research on local issues helps to create a compelling and relevant resource.
The visuals and key messages in the tool are excellent handouts at events and are well-suited for social media.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Neighbours and other groups may have questions or concerns when supportive housing is proposed for a neighbourhood. They may wonder what it is and how it helps people experiencing homelessness, or how it will affect property values.
Evidence-based answers to those questions often involve long, complicated reports and articles. They can be too long or dense for most people to read, making questions about supportive housing difficult to answer.
BC Housing’s Community Benefits of Supportive Housing tool summarizes supportive housing research that is specific to British Columbia whenever possible. It presents those findings in a document that is easy to understand, using infographics and brief summaries. The 7-page tool is easy to distribute at meetings, and its infographics and key messages work well on social media. This helps to inform discussion about supportive housing and increase community acceptance of it.
Infographics and messages that are easy to share
The tool uses a mix of sources in its research summaries, including reports from government and academia. Each source is a piece of high-quality research that is locally relevant to British Columbia whenever possible. The tool summarizes those sources, using their different views and approaches to make specific points about supportive housing. It also provides links to the original research.
The tool presents these summaries as answers to common questions. Each answer lists the relevant facts and statistics, along with a key message and an infographic. For example, the tool explains that “every dollar invested in supportive housing creates $4–5 in social and/or economic value.” These kinds of messages make the content accessible to different readers, and they are easy to share on social media.
An important role in discussions about supportive housing
The tool will play an important role in discussions about supportive housing. It will be useful at events and meetings, where it can answer questions and address concerns. People can also use it on social media, sharing it widely with others. This will make supportive housing a topic of broad conversation, building acceptance for it in communities. Greater awareness of supportive housing also will have an impact on current and future discussions about addressing homelessness.
The research summaries in the tool help to make housing-related research accessible. People who are developing and operating housing do not have time to read long, complex research reports. The tool gives them the information they need in a way that is easy to read and use. They can also use the evidence-based key messages and infographics in their own communication plans.
Easy to share online
The tool will continue to be shared at conferences and through online workshops. Its format means it is easy to share online and through social media, even if COVID-19 cancels an event.
BC Housing would like to see the tool used by groups in other locations. They can do this by using locally relevant research. Adapting the tool to a new location also will offer more opportunities for comparing and sharing research findings.
Project Team: BC Housing
Location: British Columbia
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- Deborah Kraus, Manager, Research and Information Transfer, BC Housing
- Rebecca Siggner, Manager, Research, BC Housing
- Adam Terris, Communications Specialist, BC Housing
- Leigh Greenius, Sustainability Reporting Analyst, BC Housing
- Tammy Bennett, Senior Manager, BC Housing
Get More Information:
Community Benefits of Supportive Housing (only in English)
This report highlights B.C.-based research about supportive housing. It includes information and statistics to answer questions that neighbours, local government and other stakeholders may have about supportive housing. The easy-to-read format also includes infographics to showcase the benefits of supportive housing in neighbourhoods across British Columbia and beyond.