The Commercial Inspector | NIMBY vs YIMBY: Why Affordable Housing

The Commercial Inspector Blog Posts

The Commercial Inspector

CRE tips and news by National Property Inspections



NIMBY vs YIMBY: Why Affordable Housing is a Must for Commercial Viability

 July 5, 2023 |  Property Investment, Commercial Real Estate News |  real estate trends, retail space, restaurant, hotel, multi family property, apartment

Comfort and familiarity are things that people cling onto for comfort. While most are willing to venture out to a new restaurant or clothing store from time to time to “mix it up,” wider lifestyle changes are generally met with major push-back. In the realm of real estate, this fact is perhaps the most clear in instances of new construction near residential communities.

Often, residents of existing communities fight to preserve the familiar feel of their neighborhoods through protesting affordable housing developments, new high-rises, or any unwanted businesses. These conflicts are natural issues for developers and property investment groups, and while these residents may not realize it immediately, derailing growth often comes back to harm their communities beyond what they expected. Change can be tough, but many cities formerly resistant to developments (notably wealthy enclaves) are starting to shift their views to their benefit.

What is NIMBY?
NIMBY, also sometimes known as nimbyism, is a term used in reference to groups in a community that fight in an organized manner against new developments that threaten their way of life in some manner. Standing for “Not In My Back Yard,” NIMBY started mostly to defend against environmental and public contamination in the early 80s as fear of nuclear power and toxic waste grew to new heights with incidents like the meltdown at Three Mile Island. Since those early days, this term has gained a more negative reputation, however, typically associated with wealthy homeowners who are more concerned with protecting their property value.

Today, due to high costs for homes and higher rents across the board, communities that have formerly been reserved entirely for the extremely rich are encountering unexpected issues as the bulk of their workers are struggling to afford housing. In areas like Myrtle Beach, the Hamptons, or parts of Los Angeles like Bel Air or Beverly Hills, wealthy residents are realizing that their communities have such a high barrier for habitation, that they are struggling to house essential workers like landscapers, teachers, firefighters, and healthcare workers.

For commercial property investors, retail locations, hotels, and restaurants all are much higher risk investments in these areas simply because finding eligible employees becomes too difficult a task. If residents want some of these businesses in their communities, they have to rethink their stances on sufficient housing options for the employees that would work there.

What is NIMBY?
The good news for commercial investors in these areas is that these wealthier communities may be getting savvy to the necessity of affordable housing, despite how they might impact their property value. Per local news reports in Myrtle Beach and in Nantucket, affordable housing projects are seeing overall support which should contribute to countering the housing crisis by creating a more accessible market in districts that were formerly out of reach.

The counter movement to NIMBY has been appropriately referred to as “YIMBY” or “Yes In My Backyard.” With this recent YIMBY movement coinciding with finally a drop in rental prices for multi-family properties and other residential rentals, signs seem to be pointing towards plenty of opportunity to reduce vacancies. Once again, housing and commercial viability seem to be deeply intertwined. To keep up on the latest CRE market trends, stick right here.

For retail, restaurant, multi-family property inspections and everything in between, NPI is America’s premier name in commercial property inspections. Contact our National Accounts Department to find an experienced inspector near you!

Comments are closed.





How to Keep Things Clean with Commercial Building Air Quality Control How to Keep Things Clean with Commercial Building Air Quality Control Read As we continue to grapple with the global pandemic while facing down another cold and flu season, the cleanliness of your commercial HVAC system has never been more important.
Online Grocery Shopping is Changing the Commercial Landscape Online Grocery Shopping is Changing the Commercial Landscape Read Online shopping has brought convenience, affordability and many other benefits to today’s consumers, but this evolution has also brought its share of logistical headaches. Learn about food delivery's impact on CRE.
CRE News
Choosing the Right Security Systems for Your Commercial Building Choosing the Right Security Systems for Your Commercial Building Read Commercial security systems come in all varieties, and you’ll want to utilize more than one type for added peace of mind. Check out some of the different kinds of systems you can install to help protect your building.


National Property Inspections, Inc., founded in 1987, is one of the oldest companies in the inspection industry. Our reputation is built on honesty, integrity and professionalism. National Property Inspections operates as Global Property Inspections in Canada.