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Hingham

Hingham group launches YIMBY campaign to welcome people of color

A group of Hingham residents has formed a Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) group to encourage families of color to move to the overwhelmingly white coastal town.

Longtime Hingham resident Paul Cappers said the organization — a play on Not In My Backyard, or NIMBY — grew out of his men’s group at Hingham Congregational Church, but has expanded to include others in the community.

Cappers said that unlike YIMBY groups in other cities and towns, the Hingham YIMBY is not focused on promoting low-income housing, but is instead aimed at increasing the town’s racial diversity. Hingham, a town of nearly 25,000, is about 96 percent white and the median home value is approximately $742,000, according to US Census data.

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“We are talking about people who can afford to live in Hingham, and letting them know that they are welcome,” said Cappers, who is white.

On its Facebook page, the group says it is “dedicated to encouraging real estate purchases by people of all races to live in the wonderful town of Hingham. We have a proud tradition here of many things. Our organization is eager to add a greater diversity of culture and race to our wonderful proud traditions.”

The Facebook page also notes that Hingham YIMBY supports the local police and fire departments, as well as the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, school staff, and other local boards.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.