case study | Fargo Housing
Unapologetically Compassionate
affordable housing in Fargo
Fargo Housing brand positioning and website

Fargo Housing needed brand positioning and a website to accurately tell their story and serve as an evergreen resource for all audiences.

accessible rentals in Fargo
Supportive rentals in Fargo
The housing agency website of the future

Like many housing agencies, Fargo Housing’s language, positioning and website were built from an agency-out perspective rather than a resident-in perspective. To more effectively serve the community and better convey Fargo Housing’s organizational ethos of being unapologetically compassionate, we had to get to Fargo, pronto.

Toolbox conducted a two-day on-site brand assessment discovery workshop. First, we led an active, inclusive fact-finding and brainstorming session. Next, we met with the executive team and each department separately and conducted a series of one-on-one interviews with community leaders and partners.

The new Fargo Housing
The old Fargo Housing
Navigating housing affordability

We left Fargo with a solid understanding of the people that make the organization special, the personas of their three distinct audiences and a foundational consensus to start developing a reimagined brand identity.

Our primary goal for the website was to get housing information to those who need it in a clear and compassionate way. Fargo photographer Morgan Schleif‘s captivating images show the humanity of neighbors helping neighbors find good homes and achieve independence.

The new website design includes easy-to-access, resident-focused content like:

  • User-friendly online applications
  • Property listings with photos, amenities and income restrictions
  • Comprehensive list of relevant FAQs, indexed by category
  • Online maintenance request form that routes directly to the relevant property manager’s email
  • One-click translations into six languages
You’re home, in any language

Dozens of languages are spoken in Fargo. Research identified limited English proficiency as a leading factor preventing community members from securing safe, decent places to live.

Part of our brand positioning strategy was to break through language barriers and convey Fargo Housing’s culture of inclusion as the primary message to all. The website employs simple iconography and emotionally compelling photography to communicate beyond written language.

With one click, viewers can translate the website into any of the top six languages spoken in the area.

In Their Words
“Toolbox understands the challenges and unique opportunities in developing a housing authority site, tackling head-on the chance to uplift our community of residents and our agency’s place as a leading provider of affordable housing. Toolbox didn’t just deliver — at each and every step of the way, they over-delivered.
— G. Matthew Pike, CEO, Fargo Housing
Improving access, reducing stigma

Housing agency websites can either reduce stigma or perpetuate it. The stigma around affordable housing is doubly damaging. It can prevent those who need help from connecting with the agencies that can help them, and it can impede housing agencies’ efforts to win broader community support.

The new exudes more compassion and less bureaucracy. It feels less like a government website and more like other online tools people use to find homes.

Mobile web design for housing agencies
Fargo Housing
Positioning | Strategy | Website Design & Development
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