Huntingdon, UK Reveals The Spirit of True YIMBY: Yes In My Back Yard!

Huntingdon street mall
Huntingdon shop photo by Victuallers is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Huntingdon residents drew the line when a local pub installed chipboard hoarding, apparently to prevent people from sheltering in its premises.

NIMBY — Not In MY Back Yard — has become a common term for the seemingly inevitable push back by neighbourhoods against any influx of housing and housing agencies that support “undesirables” — people experiencing homelessness, as well as households with very low and no incomes.

The term YIMBY was co-opted in America by a housing movement that had nothing to do with MY anything, except possibly MY opinion. “Yes In My Back Yard,” or YIMBY, has been an anti-zoning movement that at its most extreme would allow developers to build, and realtors to sell, any kind of housing, single or multiple unit, targeting any income level, on the grounds that trickle down economics would miraculously create affordable housing in the process. Wherever this “miracle of the loaves and fishes” kind of housing argument has been invoked, it has nothing to do with the personal back yard of the developers, realtors, or Law of Supply and Demand acolytes who have pressed for zoning freedom.

But in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK, residents demonstrated that “Yes In My Back Yard” YIMBY can truly be an expression of neighbourhood acceptance rather than neighbourhood defence. Huntingdon may not know how to end homelessness, but has a good idea about the bounds of human decency. Read more in CambridgeshireLive: Huntingdon residents outraged at anti-homeless boards put up outside Olmo Lounge bar

For an earlier post along similar lines, try: Is There a Difference Between Hostile Architecture and Torture?

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