Markets & Economy

Suing cities and battling Nimbys: The fight for more housing

San Francisco advocacy group is using bold tactics to promote development
  • Nimybism is anathema to development, so to push for development, the San Francisco Bay Area Renters' Federation is promoting Yimbyism.

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

SAN FRANCISCO -- "Nimbyism" -- the condition of taking a "not in my backyard" stance towards building -- may be the biggest obstacle to housing development out there. So what better way to promote the construction of more housing units than to champion  "Yimbyism" -- the condition of viewing development through the lens of "yes in my backyard?" That's the aim of Sonja Trauss and the pro-development advocacy group she leads, known as the San Francisco Bay Area Renters' Federation. The guiding principle of the group's platform is that any housing, whether subsidized or high-end, is always better than no housing, she said at a presentation at Inman Connect San Francisco. Every condo that isn't built in the San Francisco neighborhood of The Mission "is a high income person moving to West Oakland," she said. In a city like San Francisco, where green spaces are protected from development, building new housing means tearing down or converting other types of devel...