The YIMBY awakening
Jamie Whyte writes in CapX
Kristian Niemietz writes for The Telegraph
“There is a fundamental political asymmetry between the beneficiaries and the opponents of housebuilding. While Nimby voters punish politicians that allow housebuilding, voters who would benefit from more housebuilding do not punish Nimby politicians, or reward those who promise to build. Many of these voters do not even see a connection between housebuilding and housing costs. My survey showed that almost 80 per cent of Millennials and members of Generation Z blame high housing costs simply on “capitalism”. If they do not connect housebuilding with housing costs, they are not going to reward pro-housing candidates. If nobody rewards pro-housing candidate, there aren’t going to be any pro-housing candidates.
“This is precisely the situation we are in. We see MPs boasting about how they helped to block a development project, but we never see an MP boasting about how they helped to push such a project through. They know that there is a constituency which rewards the former, but there is no corresponding counter-constituency which would reward the latter.
“The interesting question isn’t whether Keir Starmer’s newfound Yimbyism is genuine, or whether he is the right candidate to see it through. The interesting question is whether his newfound Yimby rhetoric could help wake up the dormant Yimby vote, turning the latent pro-housing coalition into an actual one. “Selfish Nimbys are making your life worse by locking you out of the housing market” is a compelling political narrative.”
Read Kristian’s full piece here.