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Providing housing options for our younger generations 22/07/2017

Last year I discussed the rise of a new phenomenon to combat the ‘NIMBY’ or ‘Not in my back yard’ movement known as ‘YIMBY’, and it seems as though the positive concept has continued to spread.

Last year I discussed the rise of a new phenomenon to combat the ‘NIMBY’ or ‘Not in my back yard’ movement known as ‘YIMBY’, and it seems as though the positive concept has continued to spread.

YIMBY or ‘Yes in my back yard’ is a movement that started in New York and San Francisco which encourages positive attitudes toward sustainable growth and ‘good’ development in our cities to benefit future generations. It is about recognising the human aspects of urban growth and focusing on the need for more housing in major cities to increase accessibility and affordability and encourage quality, appropriate development in the right places.

There are four key urban development qualities promoted by the YIMBY movement including design excellence, innovation, sustainability and community dividend.

It seems younger generations are embracing the YIMBY movement, as affordability and land supply constraints increasingly limit their ability to enter the housing market. A recent report in The Toronto Star outlined the rise of ‘young urbanites’ who are calling for more intensified development in established areas, particularly the ability to build familysized condos and the conversion of single-family houses to duplexes and triplexes.

The overarching idea being that the provision of more housing in established areas will allow younger generations to attain home ownership in locations close to their employment, family or general areas they want to live.

The second YIMBY town conference was held in Oakland, California last week and featured presentations from a range of activists and experts seeking a clearer path forward for inner and middle ring urban infill development.

With recent census data revealing there has been a decline in home ownership in Australia for people aged under 55, it is now even more imperative we support young people into purchasing their own home.

Part of that objective will be to recognise what younger generations, such as the Millennial generation, want in relation to their home.

Millennials are likely to value places that offer a sense of community, walkability and access to public transport, digital accessibility, the potential to blend residential and commercial uses and are less likely to use a private vehicle.

The YIMBY movement, as it continues to grow, will be a champion for our younger generations seeking affordable and appropriate housing that fulfils these needs.

It will be the role of government and private industry to address how we can continue to adapt so we are providing the right land and housing to meet those needs.

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