Escondido, CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

Is NIMBYism responsible for homelessness?


If you are a NIMBY, or worse someone who never met a development that you liked, anywhere, no how, then you may be adding to the homelessness problem.

I know, you may think of yourself as a fearless social justice warrior. You may even be part of the Resistance (I mean, after all, isn’t everybody?) But at the same time you hate developments because, well, uh, they are just bad. Why are they bad? Because developers make money, and that’s bad. Because developers alter the land, and that’s bad.

They also make homes for people, and that’s uh, well, eh, complicated.

“The startling jump in homelessness affected every significant demographic group, including youth, families, veterans and the chronically homeless, according to the report. Homeless officials and political leaders pointed to steadily rising housing costs and stagnant incomes as the underlying cause,” wrote Gale Holland last year in the Los Angeles Times.

I’ve heard NIMBYs say, “We don’t have a housing problem, we have a leadership problem.”  We may very well have both, but we definitely have a housing problem, and there really isn’t factual way out of it. You can deny that the world is round and you can deny that we have a housing shortage and be equally accurate

We have more people than we have homes for them to live in. We have the madcap paradox of being a state that opposes any form of controlling immigration while also doing everything in its power to make it difficult to build new homes.

So, I hate to tell you (actually, I enjoy telling you) that if you are of a mind and political bent that opposes new development, that welcomes with open arms those who walk across the border and put down roots without checking in with the authorities, then YOU are helping to add to the homeless population.

Deal with it.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *