• Norfolk Currents
  • Posts
  • YIMBY Hampton Roads Launches "Fight for 50k" Campaign to Tackle Housing Shortage

YIMBY Hampton Roads Launches "Fight for 50k" Campaign to Tackle Housing Shortage

Zoning reform takes center stage

In response to the pressing housing crisis in the region, YIMBY Hampton Roads has launched its "Fight for 50k" campaign. This grassroots initiative aims to address the region's housing shortage, estimated to be around 50,000 homes, which has led to escalating costs for both buyers and renters.

The campaign, announced at Tuesday’s Norfolk City Council meeting, seeks to engage local officials, planners, and community leaders to advocate for policy reforms that will increase the housing supply and make housing more affordable.

"Hampton Roads is one of the most cost-burdened places for housing in the United States," said Grayson Orsini, a Lead with YIMBY Hampton Roads. "This means people are spending a disproportionate amount of their income on housing, which has far-reaching consequences for our region."

The "Fight for 50k" campaign proposes several key policy changes, including:

  • Removing parking requirements: These outdated regulations artificially inflate development costs and hinder the creation of more affordable and walkable communities.

  • Legalizing small lots under 5,000 square feet: Current zoning laws often mandate large lot sizes, making it difficult to develop affordable housing on smaller parcels.

  • Legalizing Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs): These secondary housing units, such as granny flats or backyard cottages, offer a flexible and affordable housing option without significantly altering neighborhood character.

  • Legalizing affordable housing developments on religious properties: Many religious institutions possess unused land that could be repurposed for affordable housing, helping to alleviate the shortage.

YIMBY Hampton Roads leaders say that these reforms will not only increase the housing supply but also attract talent, boost economic growth, and create more vibrant and inclusive communities.

"By refusing to build enough housing, we are choosing to keep our region stagnant," said Gillian Pressman, a Norfolk resident and YIMBY Hampton Roads Lead. "More housing means more opportunity, more diversity, and a brighter future for everyone."

YIMBY Hampton Roads has made a call to all residents, community organizers, and elected officials to join the "Fight for 50k" campaign and support the proposed policy reforms. Organizers says next steps include meeting with City of Norfolk officials, gathering more community support, and bringing the campaign to more cities in the region.

Join the conversation

or to participate.