Centering Residents

Approaches that offer residents a greater voice in their homes and remove barriers to shifting power to residents can support agency and well-being and are a building block to more just and equitable communities.

Home is powerful.  It can be a place of belonging where we can dream of possibilities and find the platform from which to make our dreams reality. A quality, affordable home can be a platform for improved health, increased access to opportunity, and the independence and dignity of residents. To realize these full benefits, housing and services must be trauma-informed, and prioritize the voices of residents while providing residents with agency to shape the design, culture, and the operations of their communities.  

Resident Voice & Agency 

 Residents should have a voice in the day-to-day decisions affecting their communities. This is an important step to cultivating personal agency – or the sense of being in control of one’s actions and having the ability to accomplish one’s goals. Personal agency, along with sense of belonging and connection to a community, play a significant role in a person's wellbeing. 

Over the years, SAHF and its members have been exploring opportunities for affordable housing providers to better prioritize and support resident voice and agency.  

Trauma-Informed Approaches

In a related body of work, SAHF has been exploring where there are opportunities for housing providers to address trauma and toxic stress - through design, property operations, and resident engagement. In 2020, as two public health crises - COVID-19 and the impacts of systemic racism - came to the forefront, it was clear that the field had to further adapt practices to mitigate and reduce trauma experienced by residents and frontline staff. 

What is Trauma-Informed Housing?

This video was produced by POAH as part of their Trauma-Informed Housing Toolkit (2023) 

Additional information on resident voice and agency as well as trauma-informed housing resources can be found on both the Updates & Resources sections of our website using the “Centering Residents” topic filter; and additional tools can be found in the CORES Resource Library.