ORLANDO, Fla. – There’s a new group in town ready to fight for more housing in Central Florida -- Orlando YIMBY: Yes in My Backyard.
The new chapter of the national organization, YIMBY Action, hopes to combat what many city and county leaders call NIMBY-ism, or not in my backyard. The group is led by co-chair Austin Valle.
“You have heard of NIMBY, not in my back yard, which is somebody who says, ‘I support housing but not in my backyard.’ or they support the idea of housing, but when it’s built next to them, they get upset about it,” Valle said. “We say, we understand the need for housing, people need a place to live, we invite new neighbors and not just yes to housing, but yes to housing in our backyard.”
This comes as the Orlando housing market is seeing some of its lowest supply in history. The Orlando Regional Realtor’s Association reported that the supply of available houses for sale in June was down 53% from the year before, driving up the average cost of a house now in the market to $315,000. The housing shortage is also driving up sky-high rents. Orlando saw a 14% rent hike in May compared to May 2020 with the average rent of a single unit $1,536 in July.
“It’s yes to all housing, yes to affordable housing, yes to market-rate housing,” Valle said. “People are paying too much in rent, people are trying to buy a house and if you don’t put in an offer on the day it comes to the market you can’t buy it. There is a problem, and people see that there is a problem and they are hungry for a solution.”
Orlando YIMBY hopes to be that solution by taking a three-pronged:
- Proactive by helping to change zoning and planning laws at the city and county levels.
- Reactive by publicly speaking at city and planning meetings to speak in favor of developments with strong opposition.
- Education for residents about the benefits of more housing.
“Inevitably some neighbors will show up and say, ‘No, we don’t want it, yeah, we want more housing but not in our backyard.’ We are going to show up and say, ‘Yes, we do want housing in our backyard and that by the way, everybody has a vested interested in that housing, more than if you are just next door to it.’ The entire city has to gain from having more housing here so we are going to show up and add that, add our voice to the conversation,” Valle said.