NIMBY vs. YIMBY: Benefits and Barriers of Affordable Housing
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February 22, 2023
NIMBY vs. YIMBY: Benefits and Barriers of Affordable Housing

South Florida is experiencing a housing crisis at historic levels. The influx of new high-income residents moving into the market, coupled with a general housing shortage has caused South Florida to be the most cost burdened place in the U.S. Some point to affordable housing as the solution. Housing is considered “affordable” if it consumes less than 30% of a household’s total income. If affordable housing is so important, why aren’t we doing something to address the lack thereof?

Although affordable housing aids many, it feels like a burden to others. It’s a case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) vs. YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard). Developers feel abandoned by the government both at a local and national level, with a lack of funding and incentives for constructing affordable housing. On top of development issues, there is also a feeling of concern coming from current residents regarding new affordable housing developments as growth causes traffic, congestion, and other inconveniences, caused by a lack of infrastructure to support the developments.

How do we garner public support of affordable housing in local neighborhoods? Should public dollars be used to fund private projects? Can south Florida sustain growth without affordable housing? And should the market determine supply and demand or should there be government mandates?