CDN staffs the Consider the Person Campaign designed to change the hearts and minds of landlords and community members about participants in the Housing Choice Voucher program (formerly called Section 8), so that participants can use their voucher in any neighborhood they choose.
The idea for the campaign started when several organizations, both nonprofit community development groups and public agencies, wanted to address the negative language and stereotypes often used to describe voucher holders and the program itself. The Consider the Person Campaign was created by a number of organizations specifically to address the negative perceptions head-on, and to promote fair and affordable housing opportunities in the Baltimore region so voucher holders may move to any neighborhood they choose.
The Consider the Person campaign consists of a website http://considertheperson.org with great information about the Housing Choice Voucher program, and resources for participants and landlords. There are also videos about a variety of people with experience in the program (landlords and participants). These videos shatter all the stereotypes.
The first phase of the campaign was initially funded by the Opportunity Collaborative through a HUD Demonstration grant, the results of which will be including in the Regional Sustainability Plan the Opportunity Collaborative is working on. The Opportunity Collaborative is the consortium of local and state governments, private sector leaders, and universities funded through a 2011 federal Sustainable Communities planning grant to reduce regional disparities by coordinating housing, workforce development, and transportation plans and a series of related demonstration projects.
CDN is fundraising for the second phase of the campaign.