Home is Here
Overview & Problem:
Many Lancaster, PA residents struggle to access affordable, quality housing. The available housing stock is not meeting the needs of the community. Nearly a quarter of city residents are living below the poverty line, and the waiting list for Section 8 housing has been closed for years. Slum landlords have become an issue. Black and Lantinx (Latino/a) residents face additional barriers due to economic inequality and racism in the criminal justice system that persist in our community and country.
Home Is Here: Affordable Housing Art Exhibit and Speaker Series is a hub project that sought to address how housing in America is plagued by racial discrimination. The hub organized a submission-based art exhibit addressing the topic of housing through the specific lens of racial justice. The hub collaborated with a local gallery, Millersville University’s Ware Center, to display the exhibit in July 2021. The exhibit featured submissions from 5 local artists and two events in coordination with the exhibit.
The first event, Affordable Housing 101, was held on July 2, 2021. City Council member Ismail Smith-Wade-El and TenFold CEO Mike Mckenna discussed the current state of affordable housing in Lancaster City, addressing the history of racism and discrimination and the effects of the pandemic.
The second event, Future of Affordable Housing, was a panel discussion that addressed the question – now that we know about the affordable housing crisis, where do we go from here? The panelists included representatives from the Spanish American Civic Association; Millersville University’s School of Social Work; The Starlight Saloon, a local LGBTQ+ art bar, social lounge, and nightclub that offers affordable and transitional housing above its establishment; and Chestnut Housing Corporation. The panel was moderated by a representative from SafeHouse Lancaster, a group affiliated with the local YWCA whose mission is to equip young black and brown people for activism work. The hub also requested donations for admission to the speaking events to fundraise for TenFold, a local organization whose mission is to provide a seamless and powerful solution to achieve equitable housing and financial security.
To create awareness, propose solutions and raise funds on the topic of racial justice and the accelerating challenges to creating and accessing affordable housing in Lancaster.
To achieve 25 respondents to the community survey (June 2020-Dec. 2020) - we received 24 responses.
- To collaborate with 10 local artists - we collaborated with 5 local artists.
100 visitors to the exhibit and 50 attendees of speaking events - we had a total of 87 in-person attendees at speaking events (47 attendees at Affordable Housing 101 and 40 attendees at Future of Affordable Housing). The livestream of Affordable Housing 101 was viewed 71 times on YouTube. The livestream of Future of Affordable Housing was viewed 62 times on YouTube.
To raise $1,000 (the average amount to stop an eviction) - donations were suggested to TenFold, a local organization working to find housing solutions for Lancasterians.
To collaborate with other partners to host an exhibit and follow up panel that addresses the history of racism and discrimination and the effects of the pandemic, and proposes viable next steps based on awareness raised.
11 Partnerships Forged:
- Millersville University’s The Ware Center (location)
- Millersville University’s School of Social Work (sponsor)
- TenFold (event speaker - Affordable Housing 101 and participant in the community survey)
- City Council (event speaker - Affordable Housing 101)
- SafeHouse Lancaster (event speaker - Future of Affordable Housing)
- Spanish American Civic Association (event speaker - Future of Affordable Housing)
- The Starlight Saloon (event speaker - Future of Affordable Housing)
- Chestnut Housing Corporation (event speaker - Future of Affordable Housing and participant in the community survey)
- Lancaster County Community Foundation (participant in the community survey)
- Community Action Partnership (participant in the community survey)
- The Mayor’s Office of Lancaster (participant in the community survey)
Social Media reach:
Project Website - Total Visitors: 238, Total Page Views: 560
Instagram Campaign (May 2021 - June 2020)
The Research Team created a Word of the Week campaign for Instagram. The purpose of the campaign was to provide information about a wide variety of housing topics.
New Followers: 50
Accounts Reached (June): 593
Content Interactions (June): 245
Likes on Word of the Week Content: 198
Comments on Word of the Week Content: 6
Shares of Word of the Week Content: 37
Saves of Word of the Week Content: 6
Accounts reached through Word of the Week Content: 2,761