Evan Siroky is the founder of the Santa Cruz YIMBY’s. These are the Yes in My Back Yard folks who are advocating for increased housing construction in Santa Cruz county. The YIMBYs are the opposite of NIMBYs, who seek to block most new residential projects. We’ve got an interesting dynamic in Santa Cruz, and in the Bay Area in general. On the one hand, people complain vociferously about the high cost of homes, both for rent and for purchase. On the other hand, very few people want to see much more housing get built around here. They’d rather that the new housing go somewhere else – anywhere else, other than their own back yard. And that’s the mentality that the YIMBYs are fighting against.
In this episode, Evan recounts how when he moved to the area, he was not too surprised to see that housing was super expensive, being in the shadow of Silicon Valley and all. But then he read that the City of Scotts Valley had planned to add only ten new housing units in a year. Ten units – that’s effectively zero growth. There was literally no plan at all to increase the supply of badly needed housing. And that’s when Evan decided to get involved and form the Santa Cruz Chapter of the YIMBYs.
Do you think housing costs too much? We know that rent control is not the answer – it’s a band-aid at best (and at worst, it stifles the construction of more badly-needed housing while raising rents for new tenants). The solution is that we need more housing – and we need it now, and we need plenty of it. That’s what the Santa Cruz YIMBYs are saying – so please listen up in this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast.