NIMBY (Not in My Backyard)

NIMBY, an acronym for "Not In My Backyard," describes the phenomenon in which residents of a neighbourhood designate a new development (e.g. shelter, affordable housing, group home) or change in occupancy of an existing development as inappropriate or unwanted for their local area.

The opposition to affordable, supportive or transitional housing is usually based on the assumed characteristics of the population that will be living in the development. Common arguments are that there will be increases in crime, litter, thefts, violence and that property taxes will decrease. The benefits for the residents of the development are often ignored.

Community consultations and meetings are held as part of the process for beginning a new housing development. Proponents and opponents of the development are given the opportunity to speak. While politicians do consider these comments, increasingly, there is recognition that it is necessary to solve homelessness through housing and that the developments should be spread throughout a community rather than isolated in one area.