Many students and young professionals are coming to (or staying in) Winnipeg to start their careers and to settle down.
As they do, they are raising the demand for affordable family housing especially in the mature neighbourhoods that ring downtown. While they may not be able to afford a single family home in an area such as River Heights, South Osborne or Fort Garry, they can afford to buy a condo or rent a unit in a duplex or small, modern apartment building.
Unfortunately, just as market demand is pushing for more of this kind of medium density housing, it’s also led to a growing number of detractors. They’re labelled NIMBY’s, which stands for Not In My Back Yard and they are often characterized as standing in the way of any and all new development.
Enter YIMBY Winnipeg
Today, a YIMBY movement is growing to push for positive infill development. YIMBY is an acronym that stands for "Yes In My Back Yard." This movement supports building more infill houses, duplexes and apartments, especially in established mature neighbourhoods. This helps give people affordable housing options and gently creates greater population density which can fund more neighbourhood amenities such as transit, parks and shopping.
It is a mistake to assume that YIMBY is only about infilling the cities with more units, because it broadly supports a range of actions that support sustainable development and improve the quality of life in the communities.
Winnipeg gained its own YIMBY group recently. It advocates for sustainable and affordable housing in neighbourhoods within the city. YIMBY Winnipeg recently said it was critical of the city’s proposed new infill guidelines because they’ll restrict more infill, making it more and more difficult for average homeowners from adding income suites or developers from building on empty lots.
“Far from supporting infill and a modest rise in density, these guidelines could reduce density if strictly applied,” the group said in a news release. “There is another problem with onerous and technically complicated rules. They create a barrier to everyday homeowners who want to add granny suites or renovate their homes into duplexes.”
YIMBY Winnipeg is one of a growing number of these movements around the world. They’re led by grassroots citizens who want their cities to be more affordable (less costly sprawl), have better transit and more amenities for everyone to enjoy. They seek more culturally dynamic cities too.
What Are The Benefits of YIMBY?
First of all, YIMBY is beneficial for city development and economic growth. Building more units opens more opportunities for more people.
More construction in the city means an increase in the city's property tax and income tax, resulting in more funds in the city budget for covering the city's essential needs. Moreover, more construction projects will create more job opportunities.
One of the great benefits is that building more units gives more opportunities to local businesses. More residents equals more people who are willing to buy or get services.
Affordable Housing For Everyone
Affordable housing shouldn't be considered as something unusual nowadays. It should be an ordinary reality in developed cities. Everyone from young professionals to seniors deserves to live in modern, comfortable, affordable and safe units.
Paragon Design | Build is one of Winnipeg's most active city developers, which supports the YIMBY movement. We create affordable luxury housing, primarily in older neighbourhoods, and we are proud to positively impact city development and create comfortable units for people.