Yes In My Backyard Act Reported Out of Financial Services Committee

February 28, 2020

Contact: Katie Webster (202 225 5315)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Yes in My Backyard (YIMBY) Act (H.R. 4351) passed the House Financial Services Committee with bipartisan support.

Introduced by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA) on September 17, 2019, YIMBY requires Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to report on policies to remove barriers that impact access to housing for Hoosiers and all Americans.

Specifically, the YIMBY Act requires reporting under the existing Consolidated Plan on the implementation of certain land use policies, including enacting high-density single-family and multi-family zoning and allowing manufactured homes in areas zoned primarily for single-family residential homes, among others, to promote housing production and increase affordability.

According to Up for Growth Action, a non-profit organization that focuses on housing affordability, from 2000 – 2015 the United States underproduced housing by 7.3 million homes. One considerable barrier to housing construction has been zoning and land use policies that stifle construction and have significant impact on housing availability. As these regulations have increased, the result is fewer homes built and untenable housing costs.

H.R. 4351 seeks to increase transparency in land use and zoning decisions, while encouraging localities to eliminate barriers to housing.

“I’m encouraged that the House Financial Services Committee passed the YIMBY Act today with a strong, bipartisan vote,” said Heck. “We have a national housing crisis, one that is brought on in part by zoning and land use policies. The YIMBY Act is a crucial first step to addressing these policies in order to increase affordability and construction. I thank my colleagues on the Financial Services committee and all of the supporting organizations for coming together and helping us pass the YIMBY Act.”

“Burdensome land use and zoning regulations unnecessarily limit the ability to build more homes and keep prices affordable,” said Hollingsworth. “YIMBY is a bipartisan effort to address these regulations and combat our country’s housing crisis, and I look forward to its passage by the full House.”

“The YIMBY Act is the product of the bipartisan work and leadership of Rep. Denny Heck and Rep. Trey Hollingsworth,” said Mike Kingsella, Executive Director of Up for Growth Action. “They recognize the severity of the housing crisis and understand the status quo is no longer acceptable. The YIMBY Act will help communities recognize their own agency in solving the housing crisis by providing them with a framework for smarter policymaking. Up for Growth Action and our members from across the country applaud Reps. Heck and Hollingsworth - and all YIMBY Act co-sponsors - and look forward this vital legislation becoming law.”

The CDBG program provides annual grants to states and local units of government to develop communities by providing decent housing and expanding economic opportunities.

On February 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $675,193 and $893,566 in CDBG funding for the cities of New Albany, IN, and Bloomington, IN, respectively.

Recognizing that CDBG funds are critical for localities, the YIMBY Act seeks to encourage local governments and CDBG practitioners to work together to address severe housing underproduction and improve the lives of families and individuals who are negatively impacted by a lack of affordable housing.

H.R. 4351 is supported by: the American Planning Association, Congress for New Urbanism, Council for Affordable and Rural Housing, Habitat for Humanity International, Housing Advisory Group, Leading Builders of America, Manufactured Housing Institute, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Apartment Association, National Association of REALTORS, National Leased Housing Association, National Community Stabilization Trust, National Multifamily Housing Council, Prosperity Now, Real Estate Roundtable, Smart Growth America, YIMBY Action, and Up for Growth Action.

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