The success of the Housing Smart Communities program is dependent on having communities that are informed on housing issues and engaged in the process. To this end, the municipality should establish, with support from the county, a community outreach campaign that ensures housing advocacy groups, as well as the general public, are invited into the discussion around housing at every step of the process.

The community outreach and education campaign should include the following actions:

Community Outreach Campaign Roadmap: Before a municipality begins its outreach and education campaign, a brief internal outreach roadmap should be developed to help guide the implementation of the campaign. Here is a template Community Outreach Roadmap for communities to use. COMMUNITY OUTREACH ROADMAP TEMPLATE

Community Workshops on Housing and Housing Policy: It is critical that local municipal officials, staff, and members of decision-making bodies need to understand the benefits affordable housing brings to a community. The municipality should hold a series of workshops focused on educating the general public and municipal planning, zoning and school boards on the housing crisis, housing policy, and what solutions can be enacted at the local level. Workshops should focus on creating a positive “Housing Narrative” among residents and decision-makers to gain community support for informed housing policy.

Online Community Engagement: The campaign should also include opportunities for online community engagement and education to allow residents to provide feedback and ideas and learn about housing policy outside of the workshops and community meetings. Online engagement activities should include:

    • A dedicated page for housing on the municipal website
    • Housing education materials for the general public and decision-makers
    • Opportunities for online comments and feedback on proposed housing policy

Minimum Criteria for Community Outreach Campaign:

  • Two virtual or in-person community meetings focused on housing and housing policy
  • A dedicated page for housing on the municipal website that includes educational materials on smart housing policy


Ithaca Neighborhood Housing (INHS) – INHS is an affordable housing non-profit working in Tompkins County. The Community Stories page on the INHS website includes stories of people who have benefited from homebuyer education offered by INHS and the affordable housing opportunities created by INHS.

Community Stories – Ithaca Neighborhood Housing (

Alberta Canada, Greater Victoria Action Together – An educational campaign that includes “Creating Inclusive Communities” workshops and neighborhood conversations on housing.

Affordable Housing Campaign — GVAT