‘Yes In My Backyard’ grassroots movement responds to housing crisis in US

Drive 18/08/2018
Photo: Getty.

A grassroots movement has taken off in the United States in response to rising housing prices and limited space in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The movement, called ‘Yes In My Backyard’ (YIMBY) aims to increase the quantity of affordable homes as San Francisco housing.

“We’re really the pro build it team,” said Laura Foote Clark, executive director.

Ms Clark told RadioLIVE that the not-for-profit “generates political will” for housing projects, where millennial voices has been drowned by those who want to minimise housing development.

“The way we make decisions about housing takes place at obscure hearings often at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a Thursday.

“People who can mobilise to get out to those hearings are often people who don’t want to see apartments built next to their single family home,” she told RadioLIVE.

The San Francisco Bay Area has among the highest rents in America. It added 307,000 jobs between 2010 and 2013, but built fewer than 40,000 new housing units, according to state of California estimates.

YIMBYism has even gone as far as Australia, with organisations launching in Queensland and Victoria in late 2017.

Aussie activists want to see metropolises like Melbourne develop high-density housing developments that make housing more affordable.  

The movement has been established in San Francisco, Denver, Colorado and Austin, New York City, Boston, Toronto and several Swedish cities. 

Listen to the full interview with Laura Foote Clark above.

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