The Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future have created a guide to help “outline measures and data gathering practices” that may “amplify resident voice and agency.” The guide is titled “Measuring Resident Agency and Voice in an Affordable Housing Setting: A Set of Guiding Questions to Move Forward.” The measures suggested by the guide fall into four categories. The categories were chosen based on how prevalent they were in current research, their relevance to the affordable housing industry, and their applicability to the affordable housing industry. In each category, the guide presents a few paragraphs on why the category is important, some suggested questions on how to think about the category for organizational staff, and some suggested questions to ask residents.
The categories covered by the guide are the following:
- Resident Satisfaction – the guide notes that assessing resident satisfaction is a way to check if resident needs and safety are being met, which are needed, if additional and deeper resident engagement is to be had.
- Social Cohesion – the guide defines this as “connectedness among residents” and notes that it can provide insight into a property’s culture, especially around “neighborliness and collaboration.”
- Resident Power – the guide notes that this is important because it can help determine what a property remodel can look like or how operations and service delivery can be changed. It is the “ultimate outcome of exercising agency and voice.”
- Civic Engagement – the guide gives examples of this as “volunteering, attending public hearings, and voting” and notes that these activities have served as indicators of community participation.
The full guide can be found here.