Advocacy is how organizations and individuals influence policymakers as they make laws and regulations, and determine the allocation of resources. The principal aims of advocacy are to create, reform, and implement policies.
There are a variety of advocacy strategies, such as:
- discussing problems directly with policy makers
- delivering messages through media outlets
- strengthening the capacity of local organizations to advocate on their own behalf
When advocating on behalf of an issue, strength in numbers is always beneficial. Below are some resources, organizations, and coalitions that are advocating for policies that apply to vacant and abandoned properties.
- HousingPolicy.org is a project of the Center for Housing Policy. It provides timely and reliable information on successful policies that states and localities have adopted to expand the availability of homes to working families. To find examples of successful programs in your area, go to its clickable map of policies by state. New content is continually added, and visitors to the site can sign up for monthly updates. Visit the In Focus page to see new features.
- The Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) is Harvard University's research center on housing in the United States. JCHS analyzes the relationships between housing markets and economic, demographic and social trends, providing leaders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector with the knowledge needed to develop effective policies and strategies. JCHS issues an annual report, The State of the Nation’s Housing, which is widely used by policymakers and others in the industry. The State of the Nation's Housing 2009.
- Enterprise Community Partners advocates for legislation at the federal level through testimony and public comment, publishing legislative fact sheets, and compiling links to other resources. Enterprise has also spearheaded a Save America’s Neighborhoods Coalition to urge the inclusion of funding for neighborhood stabilization in the recent housing legislation. The coalition’s efforts resulted in the creation of HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
- National Housing Conference advocates for policies, programs, and legislation that provide suitable housing in a safe environment. As one of its principal policy issues for 2008, NHC has partnered with Enterprise Community Partners and NeighborWorks America to lead the National Task Force on Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization.
- The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. Among its many activities, CRL tracks legislation and policy trends.
- The U.S. Conference of Mayors, in addition to supporting additional CDBG funds, called upon Congress for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reform and modernization, higher loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a higher mortgage revenue bond cap, and other tools to help state and local governments, housing finance agencies, and counseling agencies cope with the foreclosure crisis.
- The National Low Income Housing Coalition focuses on advocating for federal housing policy that will affect households and families with the lowest incomes.
- The Urban Institute’s Metropolitan Housing & Communities Policy Center researches and investigates the effectiveness of federal, state, and local public policies.
- The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) is a collaborative effort by the Urban Institute and its partners in twenty cities that focuses on the development and use of neighborhood-level information systems in local policymaking.