When YIMBY is Not Enough: The Need for LIMBY - Locals in My Backyard
Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service
For many Americans, especially those with less formal education, the strength of their community and their ability to remain in such a community is essential to their social, emotional, and financial well-being. This article advocates for YIMBY (Yes, In My Backyard) housing proponents to become stalwarts of LIMBY (Locals In My Backyard). Locals, here, refers to individuals born to a community (“true locals”) or who have established roots in a community through long periods of residency there (“adopted locals”).
This shift in thinking – from YIMBY to LIMBY – will strengthen our democracy and provide housing for those most in need of remaining connected to their community. LIMBY is a new and necessary way of thinking about affordable housing. Policies designed to increase affordable housing have failed for two reasons: first, policymakers paying inadequate consideration to the implementation of those policies; and second, those same officials insufficiently analyzing how those policies would affect current residents.
As a result of those failures, current residents have found it harder and harder to stay in their adopted or original hometowns. Even cities that have received praise for passing purportedly impactful affordable housing policies have seen locals flee to cheaper jurisdictions. Policymakers must do more than just think about increasing the supply of housing; they must also weigh the extent to which those new units will allow current residents to stay in their hometowns.
Kevin T. Frazier, When YIMBY is Not Enough: The Need for LIMBY - Locals in My Backyard,12 ARK. J. SOC. CHANGE & PUB. SERV. 1 (2023).