RE: [lpsf-discuss] SF YIMBY Platform

Starchild,How does this square with property ownership seeking its greatest market value?
Can an "affordable propery" owner "upgrade" his property beyond the "affordable" range? Or is he trapped in a certain class of owner?
Where is the upward mobility for property owners?

        Thought some might be interested in seeing this document. While not perfectly libertarian, I think it's pretty good. I had a hand in writing some of the language.
  If you'd like to get involved in YIMBY ("yes-in-my-back-yard" pro-development, build-more-housing) activism, the SF Bay Area Renters Federation web page,, is a good place to start – there you can view a calendar of upcoming events, sign up for the group's email list, etc. While SF-focused, there is discussion of the entire Bay Area, and some sub-groups in other towns/regions (e.g. Palo Alto, East Bay).
  There's also, a portal for mostly local YIMBY-related news stories.

Love & Liberty, ((( starchild )))

I'm not sure I understand your question, John. But if you're referring to these points from the SFYIMBY platform...

It is not the role of the local government to maximize wealth for property owners.

Affordability and high home values are incompatible goals - therefore public policy should be based on viewing homes as places to live, not as investments.

  ...I think they clearly refer to government policy, not the priorities of individual property owners. I actually got language modified around this point – it had been suggested to simply say something to the effect that, "Homes should be viewed as places to live, not as investments", but I think I persuaded folks that we can't stop people from seeing their homes as investments, and that we should have a narrower focus on public policy and not try to dictate people's personal goals and values.

  Of course there are other points in the platform that I do strongly disagree with, such as support for federal housing subsidies and seeking to maximize the number of below-market-rate units (this is presented as opposed to maximizing the percentage of such units, and from that narrow point of view the stance makes sense in terms of addressing the housing shortage, but still).

  The term "affordable housing" is very problematic, and this is recognized by some in the YIMBY movement. It has become a synonym for subsidized housing, which some (though not all) in the movement do support as part of the solution, but none see as a panacea. It begs obvious questions like "affordable for whom?", and "who decides the definition of 'affordable'"? I've encouraged the use of the term "low cost" instead; "affordable" housing built by government-funded non-profits can often have a very high cost per unit, only that cost is of course borne by the taxpayers instead of the buyers or renters.

  What I like most about the YIMBY movement is that it represents a grassroots movement of mostly young and mostly non-conservative activists who are on the whole arguing for more economic freedom. This is a new political development; up until now, fighting against excessive regulations making a commodity like housing less available and affordable has been almost exclusively the province of libertarians and conservatives. My hope is that the logic of YIMBY positions on housing will eventually spill over into other issues and many YIMBY activists and supporters will gradually come to realize that anti-market government policies are screwing up lots of other areas of the economy as well.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))

Hi Starchild,

I am glad you are rolling up your sleeves as always and helping to insert some libertarian thinking in the movement.

However no amount of tweaking is going to change the basic core premise of the YIMBY movement: You pay the taxes, and I live where I want to, how I want to, on your taxes.

Where the movement simply as Sonja first presented it to LPSF, I would say well OK. Had the movement added requiring a certain amount of developer financed BMU in locations chosen by the developer, I would have still maybe nor squawked. But this document clearly states that the movement depends on taxpayer funding. Clearly not something the LPSF should officially support.

Not that I think you would ask for LPSF's official support of such a document. I am only clarifying what the Libertarian position would be on it.


Obviously we don't like aspects of this....but thanks for getting involved in the "sausage" making. It's difficult but necessary work.