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College Student’s Acceptance of Affordable Housing

Public participation is a vital aspect of the public planning process, so it is incredibly important to understand how the words used in a policy or presentation may result in positive or negative reactions from the public. Looking further into this concept with a focus on affordable housing, Edward Goetz (2008) evaluated suburban residents to determine whether the term “affordable housing” versus “lifecycle house” would be better received in a survey. This study takes a narrower angle and focuses on the same concept with 17-24 year old undergraduate students at Westfield State University. As the University is broken down into three colleges, this study looked within each college to find similarities and differences between the majors. As similar majors might have similar ideologies, this analysis allowed for more accurate data. The survey was emailed out on a Friday night, as there is less email traffic during that time, increasing the likelihood of a student seeing the survey and filling it out. The anticipated results of this study is that lifecycle housing will be viewed as more favorable than affordable housing and that the stigma surrounding affordable housing has caused more people to disagree with it. This issue is important to understand so that planners can develop policies and presentations with the knowledge that the words used within these documents can negatively or positively influence the person.

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