The Many Colours of NIMBY: Ben Carson’s Popup Brothels

Sign on door, which reads: this is not a brothel. There are no prostitutes at this address.
This is not a brothel photo by Tom Coates is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
A sign like this should put paid to regulatory concerns over the uses of duplexes.

NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard. Part of an ongoing collection of articles exploring some of the many ways that a worldwide affordable housing crisis is opposed.

We have an entertaining NIMBY-in-waiting for your consideration today, courtesy of none other than the head of America’s HUD1 himself, Ben Carson.

The current federal government can be counted on to support the interests of the home building industry, and often when those interests conflict with those of housing-burdened citizens. One way that HUD does this is by ‘buying-in’ to a particular type of anti-municipal government rhetoric.

The industry’s criticism (as well as the HUD administration in this instance) is based on a vision of local governments infected by a thick armour of bureaucratic plaque. It’s caused because municipalities have no interest (so the critics say) in purging rules and regulations that date back to the horse-and-buggy era.

These snow-drifts of municipal dandruff protect citizens from runaway donkey carts and other safety issues that have become unnecessary. Discovery of these long lost gems can be amusing and harmless. But they can also apparently be sinister and insidious. The treacle of outdated bureaucracy is supposedly sticky enough to slow down or stop the housing industry from building the innovative affordable homes they so desperately want to provide for America’s cost-burdened citizens.

Ben Carson’s example of such outdated rules and regulations? Laws designed to prevent brothels from popping up in God-fearing neighbourhoods.

When it comes to protecting a neighbourhood from an affordable housing invasion, NIMBYites have never seen an argument they didn’t like. How long before they’re up on the battlements, crying ‘No More Whores!’ and demanding that legislation banning pop-up brothels in upstanding neighbourhoods be introduced if it’s not already in place?

Read more about Ben Carson’s take on outdated regulations at THE EPOCH TIMES: Ben Carson: Outdated Regulations Block Innovation In Affordable Housing

We’ve got a once-and-future NIMBY by the tail!


  1. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development


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