The phrase “affordable housing” seems plain enough, but it doesn’t always mean what people think it does. It actually has a technical definition, which can determine what gets built and who gets to live there. The Affordable Housing Toolkit helps communities answer the all-important question, “Affordable to whom?”
The kit is an interactive workshop tool with activities that break down affordable housing policy into easy-to-understand visuals. A felt chart lets communities look at income demographics, rents, and proposed developments in their neighborhoods. A guidebook explains New York’s affordable housing programs and who is eligible to use them, and provides step-by-step instructions on how to run a workshop. The online map lets you instantly chart the income demographics of any NYC neighborhood and print it out to share with elected officials or other audiences.
CUP designed the toolkit in collaboration with designer Glen Cummings of MTWTF and an advisory group of dozens of community organizations, advocacy groups, and policy experts to meet the specific needs they faced in educating their constituents on neighborhood development issues.
Over 45 organizations throughout New York City have purchased toolkits and conducted workshops for thousands of participants already. Workshops regularly take place at community meetings, classrooms, staff trainings for organizers, and many other locations.
A Spanish version of the guidebook was launched in 2009. You can get your Spanish copy here.
We launched the Chicago edition of the guidebook in 2015. You can order it here.
To learn more about the toolkit and get an introduction to affordable housing, watch this fun animation!