The Tech That Could Help Solve the Housing Crisis

With the affordable housing crisis in full swing across the country, creating new, cheap housing is more important than ever. However, many residents are opposed to new development in their neighborhoods. The Not in My Backyard, or NIMBY, movement is one of them.

The NIMBY movement is often at odds with the reality that many municipalities are required to update their planning and zoning laws every few years in order to meet the demands of growing populations. (, 2022)

In order to both encourage new housing and allow people to participate in the process, a new digital simulation tool named Balancing Act has been developed. Balancing Act allows residents of a neighborhood to use an online interactive map and submit their own plans and suggestions regarding where new development could and should take place. The proposed plans are then seen by city officials and planners, allowing them to have a better understanding of what the people who live in the areas considered for development actually want.

In addition, the plans that residents submit are subject to the same restrictions that city planners must deal with under state and federal law. Developers of Balancing Act hope the tool will help give residents – particularly NIMBYers – a better understanding of how the whole process works and engage people in the process. (, 2022)

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