Pivot Point, Summer 2011
Imagine a new family was looking to move to your block and your neighbours saying, “We already have enough of those types of people,” or, “There are too many of their kind here.” We would cringe to hear that in reference to an ethnic or religious group, however, for people impacted by poverty, homelessness, mental illness and addiction, these are exactly the attitudes they face.
The lack of safe, affordable housing is undeniable, but barriers to building that social and supportive housing is sometimes found in the attitudes of people. A big obstacle to building safe, affordable housing is community opposition to projects that serve low-income or vulnerable people. A “yes” to social housing is not enough in the face of a “but…not in my backyard” attitude (NIMBYism).
So, Pivot is launching our YIMBY (Yes in My Backyard) Toolkit this month. We know there are amazing people and groups out there who understand the importance of addressing homelessness, addictions and mental illness through safe and accessible housing. The YIMBY toolkit is designed to help them build inclusive neighbourhoods by breaking down the commonly held misconceptions about social housing.
Of course homeowners want to feel that their property investment is secure. Of course people want to feel safe in their neighbourhoods. Fortunately, evidence shows that social and supportive housing does not have a negative impact on property values and that building social housing actually helps improve safety in communities and leads to reductions in crime. We want to listen to NIMBY concerns and address them from a YIMBY perspective.
By debunking NIMBYism and building communities of YIMBYs, we are moving closer to the solutions to homelessness and cultivating a movement that demands action from our municipal, provincial and federal governments.
To launch the YIMBY Toolkit, we will be hosting some “backyard parties” with the help of our dedicated supporters. It will be a great opportunity for communities and people to connect, socialize, check out the Toolkit and even try a few of the interactive pieces like our “cringe test”. The YIMBY Toolkit will also be available online.