gathering materials on messaging and advocacy strategy for YIMBY and housing issues.
The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative
from Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals, 1972:
"The twelfth rule: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You cannot risk being trapped by the enemy in his sudden agreement with your demand and saying "You're right—we don't know what to do about this issue. Now you tell us."
In a sense this is the strategy most important to YIMBYwiki, as we are interested above all in facilitating constructive action and the search for alternative possibilities.
Housing for All
used by many different housing advocacy groups. Name / tagline of a housing coalition in Seattle.
Cruel Musical Chairs (or Why Is Rent So High?) - Sightline Institute
"How does a growing, prospering city stay affordable for all kinds of people? At the most basic level, when there aren’t enough homes, prices will keep rising. And when there are plenty of homes, it helps prices stay down. "It’s like a huge game of musical chairs. If there aren’t enough chairs when the music stops, someone is left out. When there aren’t enough homes for people who live and work in a city, everybody has to compete for what’s available, and rents go up until people get priced out. In the housing market, instead of being fast, you just need to be rich to stay in the game. "To fix it, we need more homes in all shapes and sizes. That means more cottages, apartments, duplexes, triplexes, condos, and mother-in-law units. More homes allows more people to stay and thrive in their communities. It means more people can afford to live near jobs, great schools, and transit."
Bertolet, Dan. "Video: Cruel Musical Chairs (Or why is the rent so high?)." Sightline Institute, 31 October 2017. http://www.sightline.org/2017/10/31/video-cruel-musical-chairs-why-is-rent-so-high/.
Provide cover for local officials to say Yes
heard @Scott_Wiener and others make exactly this point (eg Scott here at #MTCcasa http://baha.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=949360eb-a465-11e7-b89c-00505691de41 ) We need to help provide cover for local officials so they can take a broader, longer-term, more inclusive view
(used by SF YIMBY)
How to Talk To Your NIMBY Parents (Laura Loe Bernstein)
Bernstein, Laura. "How To Talk To Your NIMBY Parents". The Urbanist, 2016-10-31. https://www.theurbanist.org/2016/10/31/how-to-talk-to-your-nimby-parents/
Advice on going to a public meeting (Laura Loe Bernstein)
Bernstein, Laura Loe (@YIMBYsea). "Advice on going to a public meeting in your neighborhood." 4 Dec 2017.
Add new rungs to the ladder
YIMBYwiki @YIMBYwiki 4 Dec 2017
@cbracy a messaging angle we've been exploring is: if ladder seems to be pulled up, perhaps what's in everyone's interests is to add new lower rungs - new forms of starter home like ownable/movable ADUs, small-lot subdivision, SFH conv to cluster c/@afahey
Dr. Lisa Schweitzer's "Getting to Yes with YIMBY in LA"
In 2017, USC planning professor Dr. Lisa Schweitzer conducted a series of interviews with Los Angeles anti-displacement activists and explored their understanding of YIMBY ideas:
"One of my points in yesterday’s discussion was, simply, that the rhetorical or persuasive burden on YIMBY advocates is higher than it is on the NIMBY component (which is different than the anti-displacement side, btw). I stand by that statement for the simple reason that NIMBY have policy inertia on their side. They have existing zoning laws on their side; they have federal home ownership favoritism on their side. They have close to 70 years of zoning being mainstream practice, at least in the US. It’s not just or right, necessarily; it’s that any form of progressive reform always has to break free of the event horizon of the status quo. Those who want the status quo only have to maintain it. "Given that progressive reforms have happened and do happen, it’s not impossible. It just requires heavy lifting, and some of that heavy lifting is tediously having to repeat the same points on the policy agenda to anybody who doesn’t run away quickly enough. "I’ve been spending my summer working on interviews with anti-displacement advocates (if you are reading this, and I haven’t pestered you, and you have something you want to say, hit me up), and it’s been enlightening. It caused me to back up and examine what premises you have to accept in order to arrive at a yes for YIMBY if you, yourself, don’t have a preference for urbanism. And it’s a pretty long persuasive journey. a) that zoning contributes to sprawl (probably the least contentious); b) that sprawl’s environmental and social consequences are sufficiently important to require that existing neighborhoods, which people may enjoy as they currently are, allow infill, even at the risk of crowding and other problems that strangers bring, in order to prevent the consequences of more building on the suburban fringe; c) that infill development actually can fix affordability or the other problems wrought by exclusion/zoning/sprawl rather than just displacing and potentially harming existing residents; that is, it is possible to accommodate as many new people (or more) in existing neighborhoods, closer to the city center, as it would have been to put them in new suburban developments on the fringe to address housing demand in urbanizing metro areas; d) that doing so will result in more good than harm overall; and for various subgroups at any given time, e) that doing so will result in more good than harm *to them personally* overall.
Messaging studies from Framework Institute / Enterprise Community Partners
Major counter-narratives that housing and community development advocates are often inadvertently activating.
(From "You Don't Have to Live Here" (Manuel et al 2016)
The Mobility, Personal Responsibility, and Self-Makingness Backfire
The Separate Fates and Zero-Sum Thinking Backfire
The Thin Understanding of Cause and Effect Backfire
The Crisis and Fatalism Backfire
The Not-in-My-Backyard and Natural Segregation Backfire
The Facts Don’t Fit the Frame Backfire
Don't do good things if they seem to be bad
("No hagas cosas buenas que parezcan malas") related to #3 by @Nullthread at SEA houser meetup 23 Jun 2017.
- Alinsky, Saul. Rules for Radicals. 1971.
Full text: https://archive.org/details/RulesForRadicals.
- Baran, M., Kendall-Taylor, N., Morgan, P., Haydon, A., & Volmert, A. (2016). "'A House, a Tent, a Box':
Mapping the gaps between expert and public understandings of healthy housing." A FrameWorks Research
Report. Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute.
Summary: "This study compares public and expert understandings of housing, and offers strategic guidance for how communicators can help ordinary Americans better appreciate the connections between affordability, quality, and health."
- Barnett, Erica. "Fake News, Anecdata, and Things that Feel True." C is for Crank blog, 13 Dec 2017. https://thecisforcrank.com/2017/12/13/fake-news-anecdata-and-things-that-feel-true/.
- Been, Vicki, Ingrid Gould Ellen, and Katherine O’Regan. “Supply Skepticism: Housing Supply and Affordability.” Draft, 26 Oct 2017.
"This paper is meant to bridge the divide between the arguments made by supply skeptics and what research has shown about housing supply and its effect on affordability. In the following section, we address each of the key arguments that increasing supply does not improve affordability. Many of the arguments are plausible, and we take them seriously, but we ultimately conclude, from both theory and empirical evidence, that adding new homes moderates price increases and therefore makes housing more affordable to low and moderate income families."
"We analyze four of the most frequently voiced arguments below, drawing on both basic economic theory and empirical evidence.
A. Housing is Bundled with Land, but Still is Ruled by the Laws of Supply and Demand
B. Housing is Heterogeneous, but Adding Supply in One Market Will Affect Prices in Another
C. Easing price pressure through additional supply may attract some demand–but not enough to completely offset the supply increase.
D. Adding supply may raise neighborhood rents in some cases, but neither theory nor empirical evidence suggest that will be the norm."
- Bernstein, Laura. "How To Talk To Your NIMBY Parents". The Urbanist, 2016-10-31. https://www.theurbanist.org/2016/10/31/how-to-talk-to-your-nimby-parents/
- Bernstein, Laura Loe (@YIMBYsea). "Advice on going to a public meeting in your neighborhood." 4 Dec 2017.
- Bertolet, Dan. "Video: Cruel Musical Chairs (Or why is the rent so high?)." Sightline Institute, 31 October 2017. http://www.sightline.org/2017/10/31/video-cruel-musical-chairs-why-is-rent-so-high/.
- Bosetti, Nicolas, and Sam Sims, the Centre for London. "STOPPED: Why People Oppose New Residential Developments in Their Back Yard." 20 July 2016. study examining people's reasons for resisting new housing development. http://www.centreforlondon.org/publication/nimby-opposition/
- Darmawi, Fay. "How Affordable Housing Can Make a Name for Itself (and Why).” Affordable Housing Finance, March 19, 2014. [in which a a "HousingWiki" was proposed]. http://www.housingfinance.com/policy-legislation/how-affordable-housing-can-make-a-name-for-itself-and-why_o.
- Domhoff, William G. Who Rules America? (1st edition1967, updated in 2000 and 2009). See: Wikipedia: Who Rules America?
See also: Who Rules America? web site collecting Domhoff's writing on power dynamics. http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/local/
- Fahey, Anna. "A Blueprint for Better Housing Messages" SIghtline.org (April 5, 2017). http://www.sightline.org/2017/04/05/a-blueprint-for-better-housing-messages/.
- Fahey. Anna. "6 Tips for Talking Housing Solutions." Sightline.org (October 26, 2016). http://www.sightline.org/2016/10/26/6-tips-for-talking-housing-solutions/.
- Frameworks Institute (2017). “Reframing Affordable Housing: Findings from Peer Discourse Sessions.” (2017). http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/enterprise_pds_memo_april_2017.pdf.
Summary: "As part of a larger project in collaboration with Enterprise Community Partners that seeks to reframe affordable housing, FrameWorks researchers conducted peer discourse sessions with members of the public to explore how people think about affordable housing, why it matters, and what should be done to address this issue. The sessions were also used to test several frames currently used by the field. This report presents results from those sessions and makes framing recommendations for those communicating about affordable housing issues."
- Hankinson, Michael (2017). "When Do Renters Behave Like Homeowners? High Rent, Price Anxiety, and NIMBYism." Harvard JCHS Working Paper, February 2017. http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/publications/when-do-renters-behave-homeowners-high-rent-price-anxiety-and-nimbyism.
- Hoffman, A. Kimbery (2016). "Yes, In My Back Yard." TEDxWilmington, 28 Oct 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUVgnocCVI4.
- Lingle, Colin, and Anna Fahey (2016). "Seattle's Housing Affordability & Livability Agenda in the News: A Sightline Institute Media Audit." Sightline.org, August 8, 2016. http://www.sightline.org/research_item/seattles-housing-affordability-livability-agenda-in-the-news/.
- Manuel, Tiffany, and Nat Kendall-Taylor (2016). “You Don't Have to Live Here: Why Housing Messages Are Backfiring and 10 Things We Can Do About It.” Enterprise Community Partners, with Frameworks Institute. https://www.enterprisecommunity.org/resources/you-dont-have-to-live-here.
Summary: "Housing is the starting point for life trajectories—often determining who has access to good jobs, good food, safe parks, or effective schools. But this perspective is difficult for the public to appreciate. To advance a progressive housing agenda, advocates must first understand why current messages are failing and backfiring. FrameWorks teamed up with Enterprise Community Partners to think about how advocates’ messages affect public thinking."
- O’Neil, M., Volmert, D. and Kendall-Taylor, N. (2016). "Not Telling the Whole Story: Media and Advocacy
Discourse about Affordable Housing." Washington, DC: FrameWorks Institute. [sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners].
Summary: "The stories Americans hear about affordable housing can create opportunities for change or impede progress in the policy arena. FrameWorks researchers conducted a systematic analysis of the frames used by the media and by influential housing reform organizations. The result is a carefully drawn map of the narratives in play—with directions for navigating it strategically."
- Schweitzer, Lisa (2017). "Getting to Yes with YIMBY in LA, or my summer interviews." Lisaschweitzer.com, 19 July 2017.
- Schweitzer, Lisa. “#YIMBY and communitarians.” LisaSchweitzer.com, 1 Sept 2016. https://lisaschweitzer.com/2016/09/01/yimby-and-communitarians/amp/.
- Smith, Noah. "The NIMBY Challenge." [tweeted as: "How YIMBYs should respond to the intellectual challenge mounted by the NIMBYs."]. Noahpinion, May 20, 2017.
- Stahl, Kenneth. "'Yes in My Backyard': Can a New Pro-Housing Movement Overcome the Power of NIMBYs?" forthcoming 2018 in Zoning & Planning Law Report. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3087508.
- Stein, Debra. "The Ethics of Housing and NIMBYism." Affordable Housing Finance, February 2006.
- Stein, Debra. "Overcoming NIMBY Opposition Before It Stalls Your Project."
Multi-Housing News Magazine On-Line, December 29, 2008