YIMBY, or ‘Yes, In My Back Yard’, is a growing movement that counters the increasing instances of NIMBY-ism or ‘Not In My Back Yard’, that is frustrating the delivery of vital new homes and infrastructure in towns and cities across the world. One of the main challenges of NIMBY-ism is that those responsible generally do not see their objections as this. They simply want to retain the status quo for their neighbourhood and instead, they talk about the inadequate infrastructure or amenities to support additional housing. This type of exclusionary objections to development tends to occur in wealthier, suburban areas where residents are motivated to halt any further development. Unfortunately, this is why we still have underused space and brown/greenfield potential development lands remaining undeveloped in areas where there is a demonstrable housing need. By contrast, the YIMBY movement is pro-development and actively encourages the right new development, in the right areas, based on empirical demand/ needs assessments of the current and future population.
YIMBY is being driven primarily by the younger generation who have been locked out of affordable housing and who face huge hurdles in owning their own homes. They understand that the only way to address the lack of affordability in cities is to develop new homes across all types and tenures, for both renters and buyers.
How the YIMBY movement is changing the market
Unfortunately, every young adult today knows how challenging it is to get their first steps onto the housing ladder. But it is not just about home buyers, renters are sharing homes beyond the age or stage where this ought to be necessary. While many will likely opt out of the traditional home ownership in favour of a new model of shared accommodation, this is not an option for the majority of people when they wish to own their own home. And that is why YIMBY supporters from the US to the UK are shaking up the property market, lobbying housing developers and politicians with innovative ideas about how to increase supply and lower costs.
First appearing in San Francisco in response to the lack of affordable housing, the movement has steadily grown around the world. Dublin, in particular, has become a key hub of YIMBY supporters in recent years. As thousands of skilled tech workers flocked to the city, it quickly became apparent that there were not enough homes to support the demand, seeing a shortage of accommodation and sky-high rents.
How will YIMBY impact Ireland?
As YIMBY supporters continue to grow, it is placing increased pressure on policy-makers to shake up their current approach to housing delivery. By turning these existing development practices on their head, it will create an exciting new future with affordable and quality housing for all.
While new developments can be a temporary inconvenience for existing residents, bring real fear and uncertainty, YIMBY is about showcasing the benefits that these new developments can bring to the entire community. With the housing shortage only set to worsen, the market needs a major shakeup, and the ‘Yes, In My Back Yard’ movement could be the much-needed change to transform the industry in Ireland but this starts with empathy, transparency, meaningful placemaking and a data-driven approach to community needs.
PLACEengage is a dynamic placemaking tool, helping users to visualise local planning applications in real time. It can also be used to host virtual town hall events designed to inform the community about proposed new property developments and to facilitate quick and easy feedback.The PLACEengage two-way platform is designed to capture community opinions and insights under set criteria, allowing people to become active voices in the creation of their own neighbourhoods.