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Is NIMBYism the primary cause of the housing crisis?

  • Okinaga Room Wadham College Oxford United Kingdom (map)

NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard‘, is a pejorative that refers to those who oppose house-building in their area, ranging from existing homeowners to conservationists. Underlying this term is the argument that politics, rather than economics, explains this country’s failure to build enough homes, with successive governments at a national and local level bowing to those who wish to see their property prices stay high. Meanwhile, younger generations struggle to get on the housing ladder. 

With the UK’s housing shortage being one of the most potent political issues of our time and a powerful example of generational inequality, it is more important than ever to understand the reasons behind it. Is NIMBYism the primary cause for failure to deliver sufficient housing year on year or does the blame lie elsewhere, with property developers or excessive government regulations perhaps?


John Elledge - Editor of CityMetric

Barry Pearce - Infrastructure Planning Commissioner; Former Senior Lecturer of the Department for Land Economy at the University of Cambridge

Neil Goodrich - Vice Chair of the Chartered Institute of Housing

Peter Collins - Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Oxfordshire); Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall

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