In cities from Seattle to Boston, there is a growing realization that American cities aren’t working as well as they should because we’re not building enough housing. In many prosperous and growing cities across the United States, the cost of housing continues to rise. Rising rents and prices make life more difficult for low-income and middle class families, create unearned profits for landlords, and make it hard for local businesses to recruit new workers. At the same time, the high cost of housing prevents Americans from less prosperous places from moving to a growing city where they would have more opportunity. Some people are afraid of losing their housing and being displaced out of their community; other people are stuck and can’t move to join a new community. Why can’t we get American housing unstuck and working for everybody?
Abundant Housing LA is part of a growing, nationwide movement that seeks to help solve the housing crisis in American cities by promoting more housing construction of all types, including market rate housing, dedicated affordable housing, and homeless supportive housing, with buildings of all types, from high-rises and apartment blocks to townhouses and granny flats. This movement is often called the “YIMBY” movement – standing for Yes In My Back Yard, in contrast to “NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) activists, who try to stop the construction of new housing in their cities.
Abundant Housing LA and other pro-housing groups realize that the main reason we don’t build enough housing is that city governments have enacted laws that make it hard to build. This includes zoning laws that restrict density and prohibit the construction of apartments altogether in large parts of all cities, regulations like parking requirements that drive up the cost of construction, and development fees that must be passed on to renters and buyers. Pro-housing groups work with cities, states, and other housing advocates to try to change these rules to make it easier to build more housing in cities, especially in places near jobs, along transit lines, and in wealthier neighborhoods that haven’t done their fair share for housing.
If you live in LA County, we’d love to have you join us! If you live in Orange County, check out People for Housing OC. If you live elsewhere, check out the pro-housing groups below, all over the US and Canada. And if you don’t see your city listed, contact us and we’ll help you figure out how to get started!
California statewide: California YIMBY
Orange County: People for Housing OC
San Francisco: SF YIMBY Party
Oakland/East Bay: East Bay for Everyone
Sacramento: House Sacramento
Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz YIMBY
San Jose/South Bay: South Bay YIMBY
Seattle: Yes In Our Back Yards Seattle
Vancouver BC: Abundant Housing Vancouver
Austin: Austin Urban Rail Association
Minneapolis: Neighbors for More Neighbors
Cambridge MA: A Better Cambridge