YIMBYtown 2020: POSTPONED Portland, Oregon

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.

UPDATE: Wednesday, March 11: With Governor Kate Brown’s restrictions on gatherings over 250 people just announced in Oregon in response to the COVID-19 virus–and more precautionary measures already in place in Washington State, California, D.C., and likely to come elsewhere–we sadly must postpone the YIMBYtown 2020 conference planned for April 2 – 4.  Check out our COVID-19 Update page for the latest news. 


Sightline Institute and local pro-housing group Portland: Neighbors Welcome are excited to host YIMBYtown 2020 in Portland, Oregon. YIMBYtown 2020 rides a wave of momentum in the Pacific Northwest and around the country for housing affordability and availability solutions. In 2019, Oregon became the first state to legalize middle housing and pass of anti rent-gouging protections, statewide. Seattle passed trailblazing Accessory Dwelling Unit policy. Austin, Texas unlocked all neighborhoods for below-market homes and Minneapolis set the bar for cities, making space for more neighbors by legalizing triplexes citywide.

YIMBYtown is the national convening of the pro-housing “yes in my backyard” movement. It’s a three-day gathering for grassroots community organizers, political leaders, educators, housing providers, and activists to identify problems, create solutions, and 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.

At YIMBYtown 2020: 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. The 2020 elections also present a unique opportunity to influence the national housing policy agenda.

This year’s conference program will also focus on two (inextricably linked) issues that demand our attention:

Climate change: The IPCC has concluded that we have fewer than 11 years to avoid climate catastrophe, leaving us little time to sufficiently decarbonize our economy. If we are to succeed, more efficient land use will be a key strategy, supporting effective public transit, enabling walking and letting more people live car-free. As Grist recently 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, in favor of building more equitable, sustainable neighborhoods. Housing and climate movements can work together to achieve more energy-efficient, climate-resilient cities, from the Green New Deal to rethinking federal housing and land use, transportation, and infrastructure policies. Housing policy is climate policy.

Community stabilization: For many communities who have been discriminated against, and for low-income people, the housing crisis is nothing new. Today’s housing shortages demand not only that we build enough housing for everyone who wants to live in our cities; they also demand policies that alleviate the immediate suffering that the housing crisis is having on our most vulnerable residents; decrease segregation; expand access to areas of opportunity; redress past harms; and avoid future ones. At YIMBYtown 2020, we will share successful models for building enough housing to curb prices, fully implementing Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing laws, and actively fighting displacement in growing cities. We will explore how these strategies can work together to house our full communities stably and affordably.

We look forward to hosting you in Portland soon!

About the venue: YIMBYtown 2020 will be hosted by the Eliot Center. Located in downtown Portland, Eliot Center is committed to hosting events that support sustainability, social justice, the arts, community, and education. The Center was founded by the First Unitarian Church of Portland, but the venue is nondenominational, includes no religious iconography, and explicitly welcomes all regardless of faith. The First Unitarian campus is also host to Outside In, a nonprofit that helps homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency.


Get updates about YIMBYtown!