The affordable housing industry has historically faced two problems: lack of supply, and a “not in my backyard” public mentality.
To change that dynamic, Güd Marketing began working with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) in 2021. Together, we are helping the CMHA team embrace the power of storytelling on a national scale as a way to build new partnerships, new strategies and new visions of the role affordable housing can play to help improve the quality of life in communities throughout Ohio and Washington, D.C., where CMHA serves over 250,000 residents through its various rental assistance programs.
By telling its story in media markets across the U.S., CMHA is successfully creating innovative partnerships with developers beyond the Buckeye State that will bring more investment and expand affordable housing opportunities in the Greater Columbus region.
Success stories we’ve touted with CMHA this year include:
The announcement of partnerships with affordable and market-rate developers that has helped CMHA build or acquire over 2,000 new units of affordable and mixed-income housing.
A highlight of this effort is that CMHA is providing housing to low-wage earners, senior citizens and people with disabilities in what we call “neighborhoods of opportunity” – areas with highly rated schools, large job centers, quality grocery stores, easy access to health care and transportation, and other amenities like parks and trails.
On the city’s Near East Side, CMHA redeveloped Poindexter Village, one of the first public housing communities in the country, with 450 new, mixed-income apartments with the help of countless partners.
In May, we were excited to help CMHA announce its selection to receive a federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit award for its Harriet’s Hope project. Once built, this project will house survivors of human trafficking who are, or are at risk of being, homeless.
And in June, we announced an unprecedented expansion of CMHA’s project-based voucher program. Partners like National Church Residences and Community Housing Network will be deploying over 800 new vouchers at their properties, an investment by CMHA of over $100 million. This project-based program is essential to quickly get affordable housing to the people who most desperately need it.
CMHA’s collaboration with Güd Marketing in 2021 has quantifiably already delivered more news media coverage – and, equally important, more positive news coverage – than from an entire 12-month span two years ago before the coronavirus pandemic:
2019: Three positive stories, 102 neutral stories and one negative story. Total of 106 stories published in all of 2019.
2021: 147 positive stories, 90 neutral stories and one negative story. Total of 240 articles published from January-June 2021 (the data comes from a sentiment analysis conducted by Meltwater, which is the news and social media measurement software used by Güd Marketing).
In addition, we helped to produce positive coverage locally, statewide and nationally about CMHA, including major news outlets such as Yahoo! Finance, The Associated Press, The New York Times, National Public Radio, the local NBC and FOX TV affiliates, The Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First.
Our news coverage following press events and press releases reached an estimated 344 million people. If the media coverage was purchased as paid advertising, it would have cost CMHA more than $3.1 million.
We couldn’t be more proud of CMHA’s success.
Through the power of storytelling, Güd Marketing’s partnership has helped CMHA gain national recognition as one of the best in the industry and exemplifies how effective communications can improve perceptions, dispel myths and build broad public support for affordable housing development.
Senior Public Relations and Policy Manager
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