Third Coast Housing Solutions: The Case for Bringing YIMBY Legal Activist Strategies to Chicago

Kuchnir, Abigail | November 20, 2023

An insufficient supply of suitable housing stock is the root cause of issues like homelessness, overcrowding, and a cost burden on renters throughout the United States. A loose collective of activists and stakeholders comprise the YIMBY movement, an acronym for Yes In My Backyard. YIMBY advocates advance the perspective that additional housing stock is a necessary stratagem to improve housing availability and affordability, and they have used litigation as a tool towards developing new and diverse housing. This Comment examines the strategies currently used by legal activists in California, where impact litigation on this issue has been most prevalent. It also investigates whether these strategies could serve to improve the housing landscape in Chicago and, if so, how they could be most effectively adapted to the unique political and legal circumstances of the Chicago region.