The conversation shared below was part of the YIMBYtown 2022 conference, cohosted by Sightline Institute and Portland: Neighbors Welcome.*
While there may be minor policy disagreements on the margins, the concepts of achieving housing justice by fighting for more homes to be built and for stronger tenant protections aren’t inherently contradictory. But there’s clearly work to do to organize, find common ground, and build strong coalitions without pitting YIMBYs and tenants against each other and instead allowing them to collaborate against housing precarity.
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This panel featured two speakers who have worked on numerous campaigns for renters’ rights. Jamey Duhamel, special projects coordinator for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), specializing in equity-focused tenant policies and anti-displacement strategies, and Tram Hoang, Director of Policy and Research for Housing Justice Center, discussed how YIMBYs and tenant advocates can effectively work together. They talked about the importance of coalitions explicitly naming what they’re trying to achieve and for whom, and the need to take cues from those most impacted by housing policies in order to achieve housing stability justice for all. Shelby King, a reporter with Shelterforce magazine, moderated the conversation.
*YIMBYtown 2022 occurred April 11–13 in Portland, Oregon, the fourth annual gathering (after some COVID delays) of “Yes in My Back Yard” (YIMBY) community leaders, organizers, planners, policymakers, educators, and housing providers eager to share resources and strategies for building more affordable, sustainable, and equitable communities.