Housing is a Human Right!
Worried that you don’t know enough about the housing crisis to discuss it? Through this blog, we hope to answer any questions you might have and give you the language you need to understand housing issues in the Bay Area. Today, we will be introducing where we stand on the housing crisis. We have designed a Google Form for you to offer suggestions on what you think we should cover in the future.
First and foremost, at Cal Habitat, we believe that housing is a human right. The housing crisis in the Bay Area leaves many people without access to a home. We strive to solve this crisis by educating students and building more affordable housing.
To begin our discussion on the housing crisis, we will define two key terms for you: NIMBY and YIMBY. These acronyms are used to describe different housing ideologies, with the former standing for “Not In My Backyard” and the latter “Yes In My Backyard.” These represent conflicting sides of the debate surrounding housing. To put it simply, NIMBYS are against new housing construction in their communities. In contrast, YIMBYs believe that the key to solving the housing crisis is to build more housing.
NIMBYs have faced criticism for keeping people out by blocking construction designed for low-income tenants. Housing justice activists also take issue with YIMBYs, maintaining that more housing doesn’t necessarily mean cheaper housing. They argue that YIMBYs can harm middle and working-class people by enabling developers to build luxury housing that furthers gentrification. Neither movement is exempt from histories of displacement and dispossession.
In short, we do not need to be confined to this binary approach when thinking about addressing the crisis. We should fight for a future where housing is guaranteed for everyone and ensure that the housing we build does not perpetuate inequities.
By working on this blog, I hope to learn alongside you about the complexities of the housing crisis and combat misconceptions. We must all look deeper and think critically about our own beliefs when solving this pervasive issue.
If you are a student looking to meet housing needs, look at the Basic Needs Center for more information on finding housing.