Skip to content
CityLab
Housing

Meet the PHIMBYs

In California, advocates who demand “Public Housing in My Backyard” have joined traditional NIMBY groups in fighting a bill designed to boost density in transit-accessible neighborhoods.
In San Francisco, public housing units like Hunter's View complex (seen here in 2014) are in very short supply.
In San Francisco, public housing units like Hunter's View complex (seen here in 2014) are in very short supply. Robert Galbraith/Reuters

If you’re familiar with CityLab, you know your NIMBYs—the homeowners who say “Not In My Backyard” whenever anyone proposes constructing new housing in high-opportunity areas.

And you’ve probably met their adversaries in the “Yes In My Backyard” movement. Typically younger (and media-savvier) than their foes, YIMBYs have quite successfully framed their activism for more housing production at all income levels in opposition to NIMBY pleas for the preservation of abundant parking and “neighborhood character.”