Welcome back to YIMBYtown!
April 11-13, 2022
What we now refer to as the Portland Metro area sits on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla and many other tribes.
Do you believe housing choice is fundamental to human dignity? Do you believe housing policy is climate policy? Do you believe we need to build more housing as a necessary component of any effort to address a myriad of overlapping crises and inequalities? If so, this conference is for you.
Previously convened in Boulder, Oakland, and Boston, YIMBYtown is the national gathering of the pro-housing “yes in my backyard” movement. It’s a conference for grassroots community organizers, political leaders, educators, housing providers, and activists to identify obstacles and create solutions and to share resources and strategies. YIMBYtown offers inspiration, tools, and a network for those working to advance abundant, affordable housing and sustainable development in cities across the United States, Canada, and beyond.
Quite a lot has changed in the eighteen months since the pandemic postponed this conference. Since then, Portland legalized sixplexes without parking citywide (!), California eliminated the statewide mandate for single detached housing, and a new federal administration is proposing initiatives to encourage cities to eliminate apartment bans.
Of course, a lot has changed outside our realm of abundant housing advocacy as well –the global response to the pandemic, our reckoning with policing and institutional white supremacy (and witnessing institutional backlash to justice efforts), and the increased awareness of our climate emergency inform our efforts to pass equitable housing policy.
At YIMBYtown 2022: Fair and Sustainable Cities, we will spotlight major affordability wins, bringing successful housing campaign leaders to share ideas and lessons for local and statewide action.
YIMBYtown 2022 will focus our programming on the two (inextricably linked) issues that demand our attention:
Climate change: The pandemic is yet one more devastating wake up call: we face an existential threat in the climate crisis. Housing policy is climate policy. More efficient land use will be a key strategy to successfully and sufficiently decarbonize our economy, from housing abundance and density to supporting effective public transit, enabling walking and rolling, and reducing dependence on cars and gas infrastructure. sufficiently decarbonize our economy, . And, as Grist fellow Greta Moran put it: “You can’t tackle climate change without tackling sprawl.” Local housing movements are joining forces with community partners to re-legalize a range of home choices, improve transit, remove parking regulations, and combat freeway expansions.
Community stabilization: Abundant, affordable housing often sits in direct tension with land as the foundation for building wealth in modern society. Land theft and racial discrimination in housing and lending policies are not just historical facts—their legacies endure across the landscape of our current housing crisis. For many communities who have been discriminated against, and for low-income people, the housing crisis is nothing new. We collectively have the power to advance a more equitable future., At YIMBYtown 2022, we will share successful models for building enough homes to meet our housing shortage, fully implementing Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing laws, and fighting displacement and exclusionary policies. We will explore how these strategies can work together to house our full communities stably and affordably, and the roles that advocates and policymakers can play to build durable coalitions for stable, abundant housing.
About the venue: YIMBYtown 2022 will be held at Portland State University, in partnership with PSU’s Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning. The Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning is the nation’s oldest continuously operating instructional program in urban studies. Graduates can be found in public, private, and nonprofit planning offices throughout North America and around the globe. The mission of the school is to assist in the development of healthy communities through an interdisciplinary program of teaching, research, and public service. Located in downtown Portland, Portland State University is internationally renowned for its commitment to sustainability and is the number one school in Oregon for social mobility, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Vaccine Mandate: YIMBYtown 2022 intends to mandate that all conference attendees, speakers, and volunteers show proof of vaccination to attend in person. Also, depending on pandemic conditions at the time of the conference, we also reserve the right to ask all attendees to wear masks while attending YIMBYtown 2022.
About Sightline Institute: Sightline Institute is an independent, nonprofit research and communications center—a think tank—founded in 1993. Sightline Institute’s mission is to make the Northwest a global model of sustainability—strong communities, a green economy, and a healthy environment. Our work includes in-depth research, commentary, and analysis, delivered online, by email, and in-person to Northwest policy champions, emerging leaders, and a range of community partners. Sightline has long championed sustainability solutions that benefit all our communities in the Northwest. We strive to identify injustice and work to dismantle the systems that perpetuate it. We actively seek to expand our role in advancing public policy and producing resources for Northwest leaders and community partners that tackle issues of racial and economic inequality.
About Portland: Neighbors Welcome: Portland: Neighbors Welcome is Oregon’s largest abundant housing advocacy group, working for pro-housing and pro-tenant policies at the local, regional and state level. Officially incorporated in 2019, the organization played an instrumental role in advocating for the passage of Oregon’s landmark HB 2001 to legalize missing middle housing statewide and successfully passing Portland’s groundbreaking Residential Infill Project legalizing sixplexes citywide in 2020. Most recently, Portland: Neighbors Welcome has organized in support of the city’s Shelter to Housing Continuum proposal, the Historic Resources Code Project, and to raise funds for the Community Alliance of Tenants’ emergency rent fund.
You’ve been patient with us as we waited out the pandemic — we look forward to hosting you in Portland soon!