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The NIMBY Fight That Rocked an Iowa City

An uproar over an affordable housing complex in Cedar Rapids gives insight into the NIMBY debates of small-city America.
relates to The NIMBY Fight That Rocked an Iowa City
Wikipedia/Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Dorothy has lived in northwest Cedar Rapids all her life, moving just one block west 45 years ago to her current house, in whose tidy, bright kitchen I’m sitting. The neighborhood is a comfortable one, heavy on split-level ranches and well-tended lawns peppered with ceramic jockeys, deer, and other ornaments. Though it’s only a few minutes by car to downtown, there’s nary a whiff of the syrupy cereal smell that emanates from the Quaker Oats factory there.

I’m listening to Dorothy and her neighbor, Lucy,* discuss the nearby affordable housing complex that is set for imminent construction despite their best efforts to block it.