Dave Chappelle recently opposed an affordable housing project in his hometown of Yellow Springs (Image via Lester Cohen/WireImage)

What is affordable housing? Dave Chappelle controversy explained as comedian's Yellow Springs video sparks backlash

Barsha Roy

Dave Chappelle recently opposed an affordable housing plan in his hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The village council failed to approve the zoning arrangement after the comedian threatened to pull his business ventures out of the region.

As per the Dayton Daily News, Yellow Springs partnered with Oberer Homes to develop a combination of 64 single-family homes, 52 duplexes, 24 townhomes, and an additional donation of 1.75-acres of plot to build affordable housing.

‘You look like clowns’ — Dave Chappelle helped kill a proposal for affordable housing in Yellow Springs, Ohio, threatening to pull his plans for four businesses if the city council moved forward
3:57 AM · Feb 10, 2022

Dave Chappelle first announced he was “adamantly opposed” to the affordable housing plan during a council meeting in December 2021:

“I’ve invested millions of dollars in town. If you push this thing through, what I’m investing in is no longer applicable. I would say that Oberer can buy all of this property from me if they want to be your benefactor because I will no longer want to.”

The Yellow Springs News previously reported that Chappelle lives near the proposed site and opposed the ordinance over concerns of increased traffic, lack of sidewalks and the overall setup of the development.


What business ventures does Dave Chappelle have in Yellow Springs?

On Monday, February 7, 2022, Dave Chappelle and a few other members of the Yellow Springs community reiterated their statement and strongly opposed the affordable housing plan.

Following a 2-2 deadlocked vote and the comedian’s opposition, the village council scrapped its affordable housing agenda. Authorities then approved its original development plan to develop 143 single-family homes with a starting price of about $300,000.

The affordable housing plan would have reportedly reduced the cost of housing in the village and allowed workers to live near their jobs.


According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dave Chappelle is currently involved in several business establishments in the area. The media personality reportedly plans to open a Firehouse Eatery restaurant and a comedy club called Live from YS in the region.

In December 2020, Iron Table Holdings LLC bought the former Miami Township Fire Station as the site for its upcoming ventures. Future establishments will reportedly sell food and beverages and provide indoor and outdoor seating facilities with separate seating arrangements for performances.

A look into the concept of affordable housing

Affordable housing is a form of housing that is considered affordable by the section of society with a below-median household income as rated by the national or local government’s recognized housing affordability index.


As reported by Forbes, housing is deemed affordable when it consumes less than 30% of the total income of a household. Unfortunately, more than half of the 43 million households in the U.S. are “cost-burdened” as they spend more than 30% of their earnings on housing.

Several communities are reportedly facing financial and economic issues due to inadequate, affordable housing.

The publication noted that families who are cost-burdened with housing often tend to experience stress to support other aspects like food, healthcare, security, transportation, retirement and overall social stability.

The Economic Times reported that affordable housing usually keeps in mind the needs of the lower or middle-income households as it becomes a key issue for them to buy houses at the normal market price.

As a result, affordable housing has become a primary concern to cater to the growing need for housing in a large section of society.


Forbes has deemed affordable housing an "ongoing challenge" in the U.S. despite the introduction of additional resources by the government.

However, the publication has mentioned that challenges related to affordable housing can be acknowledged by addressing local resistance, involving individual business leaders and introducing federal policies that will reduce the wealth gap in the future.

Twitter reacts to Dave Chappelle’s stance

Dave Chappelle came under fire after opposing the Yellow Springs affordable housing project (Image via Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Last October, Dave Chappelle came under fire after making several transphobic comments on his Netflix comedy special, The Closer. The comedian recently landed in hot waters after opposing an affordable housing plan in Yellow Springs.

During a council meeting earlier this week, the Half Baked star threatened to ax his business ventures from Yellow Springs if the village council approved their affordable housing plan. His statement was also captured on video and widely circulated on social media.

In the video, the comedian can be heard saying:

“I cannot believe you would make me audition for you. You look like clowns. I am not bluffing, I will take it all off the table.”
The village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, voted to kill an affordable housing component of a new development.

Why? One big reason: Hometown comedian Dave Chappelle showed up to say he's "not bluffing" about pulling businesses from the village if it passed.
11:05 AM · Feb 9, 2022

In response to the footage, several social media users took to Twitter to call out Chappelle for his opposition towards the affordable housing plan:

Dave Chappelle has straight up disappointed me, how can you be a millionaire and be against affordable housing for people?
5:18 AM · Feb 10, 2022
It sure is pretty cancel culture of Dave Chappelle to threaten to take his business out of the wealthy village he lives in if they build affordable housing.
1:02 AM · Feb 10, 2022
Dave Chappelle personally came to a city council meeting and threatened to remove his $65m dollars of investments from his city if they allowed a developer to move forward with an affordable housing program. The objection wasn't to the build, but the affordable housing component. twitter.com/DwayneDavidPau…
VIDEO: Yellow Springs votes no on affordable housing plan after Dave Chappelle, others speak up daytondailynews.com/local/video-ye…
1:06 AM · Feb 10, 2022
Dave Chappelle really spitting fire and speaking truth to power -- by threatening to take his millions away from a small town if it provides affordable housing to working-class people. twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/st…
So in addition to being a transphobe, Dave Chappelle is also a NIMBY.

Here he is threatening to take his businesses elsewhere over a proposal that would have built $65 million dollars of affordable housing.

The housing plan died in a 2-2 vote after this.
When Dave Chappelle sees people living in affordable housing
5:40 AM · Feb 10, 2022
Did not have "Dave Chappelle NIMBY's affordable housing" on my 2022 BINGO card, but I also can't say I'm that surprised.
1:32 AM · Feb 10, 2022
4:49 AM · Feb 10, 2022
Sad to see that Dave Chappelle is just another rich NIMBY who wants to block affordable housing in his neighborhood
8:35 AM · Feb 10, 2022
Searching for the back story to Dave Chappelle killing an affordable housing project, hoping there’s more to this story…
3:53 AM · Feb 10, 2022

Although Dave Chappelle did not publicly address the situation, a source close to the star told The Daily Mail that the comedian supports affordable housing but opposes residential development plans in his hometown.

Edited by Srijan Sen
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