Comedian Dave Chapelle might just be America’s most famous NIMBY right now. Public comments he made opposing multi-unit affordable housing in his village near Dayton, Ohio have gone viral, sparking a backlash by some housing activists online.
At issue was a plan by Oberer Homes to build around 140 new units — including affordable housing — on 53 acres of land in the gentrified town of Yellow Springs. The village council had to approve the plan because the area is currently zoned for single-family housing.
Chapelle was having none of it. He arrived at the village council meeting last Monday to make his displeasure known. He threatened to pull $65 million dollars worth of investments out of Yellow Springs if the council went through with the idea.
“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you. You look like clowns,” he said. “I am not bluffing. I will take it all off the table.”
Money talks. The affordable housing component was ultimately not approved. According to the Dayton Daily News, homes will now start at about $300,000.
“Dave Chappelle didn't kill affordable housing. Concerned residents and a responding Village Council 'killed' a half-baked plan which never actually offered affordable housing,” Chapelle’s publicist, Carla Sims, told CNN.
“Neither Dave nor his neighbors are against affordable housing, however, they are against the poorly vetted, cookie-cutter, sprawl-style development deal which has little regard for the community, culture and infrastructure of the Village,” she added.