‘YIMBY’ Movement Urges Affordable Housing

October 12, 2017

Young adults are forming a new movement known as YIMBY—“yes in my backyard”—as they advocate for more affordable housing in their communities.

Young adults reportedly are turning out in bigger numbers to zoning, planning, town, and city board meetings to advocate for more affordable housing in their districts. Activist groups are gaining momentum, particularly in markets that have faced surging rental costs and home prices the last few years.

“The movement is fueled by the anger of young adults from the millennial generation, many of whom are now in their late 20s and early 30s,” writes Erin McCormick, a San Francisco-based staff writer for The Guardian. “Rather than suffer in silence as they struggle to find affordable places to live, they are heading to planning meetings en masse to argue for more housing—preferably the very kind of dense, urban infill projects that have often generated neighborhood opposition from NIMBYs (“not in my backyard”).

The housing industry expects the YIMBY movement to get louder as millennial advocates seek housing solutions to the affordability problem and beyond.

“YIMBY activist groups won’t likely stop with housing affordability as their sole goal as they gather political, social, and eventually, financial clout and momentum to influence their surroundings,” BUILDER notes. “In addition, they’ll want sustainability, resilience, health, and well-being in their communities, and they’re likely to use the political templates they’re succeeding with against opponents to development to push those agendas as well.”

Source: “Rise of YIMBYs: The Angry Millennials With a Radical Housing Solution,” The Guardian (Oct. 2, 2017) and “Could YIMBY be the New NIMBY?” BUILDER (Oct. 10, 2017)