As your organization begins to outline the supportive housing project, representatives of your target tenant population play a critical role in the process. Prospective tenants can share valuable input on desired features in a housing unit and the supportive services of greatest interest. There are many options for involving tenants in the planning process:
- Project Team Membership — You can include individuals who have life experiences similar to those of the tenants you intend to house on the project planning team. These individuals would participate in all regular meetings of the planning team, helping to ensure that tenant needs ground all decisions.
- Focus Groups — You can hold focus groups with persons who have life experiences similar to those of your targeted tenants. It may be helpful to compensate participants with food and/or a gift card. Consider holding the focus groups at varied times or day(s) of the week to maximize participation.
- Written or Online Surveys — You can create a survey designed to gather information from the targeted tenants and/or community members. Consider keeping the survey brief and written in plain language. You also may want to allow individuals to complete the survey by phone, to encourage persons with differing levels of literacy and/or English proficiency to participate.
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