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About YIMBY Action

A National Network of Local Groups

YIMBY Action started out as a group advocating for housing in San Francisco, one of the worst cities in the U.S. in terms of housing cost and availability. Since then, we’ve teamed up with people in other growing cities and towns across the U.S. who saw housing become more expensive and scarce in their communities. Now, YIMBY Action has chapters from coast to coast of the US. Through our network, chapters get access to training, tools, and a community of other people passionate about housing.

We Care About Housing

Our board, staff, volunteers, and donors (nicknamed “YIMBYs”) are all passionate about housing. Some are architects, city planners, and homebuilders—truly passionate about the buildings in which we live. Even more YIMBY members are simply everyday people who have experienced and seen the negative impacts of scarce and expensive housing.

YIMBYs have experienced housing struggles that are all too common, like:
  • struggling to find a home that fits their budget
  • moving far away from work or their community to find affordable housing
  • having friends and family move away to find affordable housing
  • commuting for hours a day
  • spending years on waitlists for income-qualified housing
  • homelessness
For many, becoming a YIMBY is a way to try to fix the systemic problems that have affected them personally.
Five YIMBY housing activists standing next to each other for a group photo

I support YIMBY because letting cities build up—instead of mandating that they forever sprawl out—is a non negotiable part of combating climate change.

Jeff Fong

Board Member

I support YIMBY because I’m an urban planning student who follows the research—and it shows we need to enable more housing at *all* income levels if we want a truly sustainable, long-term solution to our housing crisis.

Simon Tan

There’s so many reasons I support YIMBY but the simplest one is rooted in firsthand experience from being evicted in 2011. The bottom line for me is that housing abundance is one of the best tenant protections there is, and for far too long we’ve propped up landlord power…

Bobak Esfandiari

I really don’t want to be isolated here in Menlo Park when I’m elderly because none of my kids or grandkids can afford homes nearby. We need more homes.

Heather Hopkins

I support YIMBY because there aren’t enough homes for everyone. There aren’t enough homes for our kids, for our teachers, for our future. And with pro-housing policies, we can change that.

Jon Wizard

Seaside City Council Member

One thing I looked into was the housing that the city has… I got on wait lists, but I haven’t heard anything and it’s been 2.5 years. There were no options for me as single woman with 3 kids escaping abusive situation—which is dangerous.

YIMBY Member

One reason I support YIMBY: I got mold sickness from living in a crappy apartment that was all I could afford on a nonprofit salary. A year+ of stomach issues and panic attacks! No one should have to destroy their health to live near their job.

Gill Pressman

Director of Development, YIMBY Action

When my mom and I came to America as refugees, we were only able to survive because we got a cheap apartment in NYC… Today, this is much harder…Only by building so many apartments that housing becomes abundant can we drive the rent of apartments down to where they’d be affordable to immigrants who came to this country with nothing, like I once did.

YIMBY Member

We Care About Housing's Effects

people in masks and family in front of large apartment complex

Many YIMBYs have experienced challenges finding and affording housing. Many YIMBYs also care about housing because of how it overlaps with other causes they care about. The housing shortage is bad for people, reinforces existing inequalities, hurts the environment, and stalls the economy.

If we don’t have more housing, only the rich will have the opportunity to live in a city.

YIMBY Member

The opportunity here is so great because of the economic growth, but that can’t be shared because people can’t live here.

YIMBY Member

Housing is the most important issue of our time. I’ve worked in poverty alleviation my whole career and all roads lead to housing when it comes to the root causes of wealth inequality, educational inequality, and health inequality.

YIMBY Member

If we don’t make cities more dense and get people out of cars, we’re going to be dealing with forest fires affecting houses, pollution, CO2 emissions, and livability of earth in 30 years.

YIMBY Member

I care about housing, jobs, and education. Those things go hand in hand. I truly used to think education was the most important. But then, I realized housing is the most important because where you grow up determines what food you eat, types of schools you go to, and types of people you network with that you get good jobs from.

YIMBY Member

My biggest concerns is the fact that in New York, new housing is only permitted in black and brown neighborhoods. White neighborhoods are preserved in perfect epoxy crystal. White neighborhoods are not doing their share and black and brown neighbors are being pushed out and pressured because of that.

YIMBY Member

I learned about a lot of different concepts in transit, realized it was related to land use and related to housing. Everyone has to be spread out in terms of single family housing, suburban neighborhoods, all the pieces came together and I was able to see it in a much larger picture.

YIMBY Member

We Believe the problem is political

YIMBYs see scarce housing as the result of shortsighted and discriminatory laws, which we know we can change when enough citizens speak up and vote.

We advocate for research-backed policies to increase the supply of housing, both market-rate housing and government subsidized housing. Our policies are informed by pragmatism; we focus on solutions that can lower the cost of housing without competing for scarce public dollars, and that get rid of red tape in favor of more effective, streamlined regulations.

We Achieve Change by Engaging in Politics

Policies change when people make noise about it—when they show elected officials that they care.

YIMBYs get politicians to care by showing up to local hearings, writing petitions, calling and writing representatives about bills, and meeting with them in person. We support pro-housing candidates when they run for office, knocking on doors and making phone calls to help them get the votes they need to win.

yimby housing activists canvassing with door hangers for a bond to fund homelessness services
YIMBYs sitting around a table phone banking for an election

We are committed to inclusion

While not universally true, we recognize that historically, the YIMBY movement has attracted and engaged people who have been shielded by the most extreme impacts of the housing shortage by virtue of our race, socioeconomic status, and other advantages. We are actively working to include and elevate diverse and less privileged people in our organization. You can read more about our equity practices in our Equity Vision Statement.

YIMBYs of all ages posing for a group photo, holding signs that say "support working families", "homes for all", and "affordable housing now"


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