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NIMBY is an acronym for the phrase Not In My Back Yard. The term is used to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them. NIMBY is also used more generally to describe people who advocate some proposal (“We are not against affordable housing, just low-income housing.”), but oppose implementing it in a way that would require sacrifice on their part (“Why can’t you build it on the other side of the tracks?”).

The City of Goose Creek’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted 4-3 recently to refuse a permit for an apartment complex on the edge of Crowfield Plantation. The project would be financed in part with low-income tax credits from the South Carolina Housing Development and Finance Authority. “We are not against multiple-family dwellings,” said a neighboring Crowfield resident. “We’re concerned about the influx of low-income housing.”

Michelle Mapp, executive director of the SC Community Loan Fund, spoke in support of the apartment complex. “Members of the community came out in opposition, not because the project violates any established planning or zoning ordinances, but because of a fear of who is going to be living next door,” she said.

Mapp argued the residents are often young adults beginning careers as teachers or firefighters, or as cashiers or waiters. “These are all critical members of our work force who are finding it increasingly difficult to find a safe, decent, affordable place to call home.”

To learn how you can help support the production and preservation of affordable housing and use your voice to let our elected officials know that HOUSING MATTERS, please contact Michelle Mapp at 843-973-7285.