Do you believe housing choice is fundamental to human dignity? Do you believe housing policy is climate policy? Do you believe we need to build more housing as a necessary component of any effort to address a myriad of overlapping crises and inequalities? If so, this conference is for you.
Previously convened in Boulder, Oakland, and Boston, YIMBYtown is the national gathering of the pro-housing “yes in my backyard” movement. It’s a conference for grassroots community organizers, political leaders, educators, housing providers, and activists to identify obstacles and create solutions and to share resources and strategies. YIMBYtown offers inspiration, tools, and a network for those working to advance abundant, affordable housing and sustainable development in cities across the United States, Canada, and beyond.
Quite a lot has changed in the eighteen months since the pandemic postponed this conference. Since then, Portland legalized sixplexes without parking citywide (!), California eliminated the statewide mandate for single detached housing, and a new federal administration is proposing initiatives to encourage cities to eliminate apartment bans.
Of course, a lot has changed outside our realm of abundant housing advocacy as well –the global response to the pandemic, our reckoning with policing and institutional white supremacy (and witnessing institutional backlash to justice efforts), and the increased awareness of our climate emergency inform our efforts to pass equitable housing policy.
At YIMBYtown 2022: Fair and Sustainable Cities, we will spotlight major affordability wins, bringing successful housing campaign leaders to share ideas and lessons for local and statewide action.
YIMBYtown 2022 will focus our programming on the two (inextricably linked) issues that demand our attention:
Climate change: The pandemic is yet one more devastating wake up call: we face an existential threat in the climate crisis. Housing policy is climate policy. More efficient land use will be a key strategy to successfully and sufficiently decarbonize our economy, from housing abundance and density to supporting effective public transit, enabling walking and rolling, and reducing dependence on cars and gas infrastructure. sufficiently decarbonize our economy, . And, as Grist fellow Greta Moran put it: “You can’t tackle climate change without tackling sprawl.” Local housing movements are joining forces with community partners to re-legalize a range of home choices, improve transit, remove parking regulations, and combat freeway expansions.
Community stabilization: Abundant, affordable housing often sits in direct tension with land as the foundation for building wealth in modern society. Land theft and racial discrimination in housing and lending policies are not just historical facts—their legacies endure across the landscape of our current housing crisis. For many communities who have been discriminated against, and for low-income people, the housing crisis is nothing new. We collectively have the power to advance a more equitable future., At YIMBYtown 2022, we will share successful models for building enough homes to meet our housing shortage, fully implementing Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing laws, and fighting displacement and exclusionary policies. We will explore how these strategies can work together to house our full communities stably and affordably, and the roles that advocates and policymakers can play to build durable coalitions for stable, abundant housing.