Wednesday Reps. Denny Heck (WA-10) and Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) introduced the bipartisan Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, H.R. 4351, in the House. The bill encourages communities to prioritize measures that will increase housing supply and affordability.
Under the bill, local governments applying for federal housing development funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program would be required to report whether they have enacted policies to reduce counterproductive regulations that may affect affordability.
“We know that certain land use policies can help make housing more affordable and less discriminatory,” said Heck. “Increasing the density of residential zoning to include multifamily homes, planning housing and transit development in conjunction with one another, and allowing for accessory dwelling units. While these decisions are rightfully made at the local level, the YIMBY Act will incentivize policies to increase affordability and reduce discrimination. If a local government applies for federal CDBG funding, they’ll need to provide an account of their land use policies and the benefits to their communities.”
“A safe and stable home serves as a bedrock for families,” said Hollingsworth. “Our federal laws should encourage building affordable housing for our neighbors, not driving up the costs and creating barriers through burdensome and restrictive land use policies.”
“Rep. Heck has long been a champion of sensible and bipartisan solutions to the nation’s housing crisis,” said Mike Kingsella, Executive Director of Up for Growth Action. “We applaud his leadership in joining with colleagues both across the aisle and across the Capitol to introduce the YIMBY Act. This legislation would create a constructive way for the federal government to work with communities that are committed to building more housing and improving housing affordability. Up for Growth Action and its members in Washington state and across the country look forward to working with Rep. Heck and bill co-sponsors to enact policies that create more housing for all Americans.”
Joining Reps. Heck and Hollingsworth as original cosponsors are Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-05); Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03); Virginia Foxx (NC-05); and Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01), Chair of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance.
The Senate companion bill (S. 1919) was introduced in June by Senators Todd Young and Brian Schatz.