Yes In My Backyard Act Passes House

Monday, the bipartisan Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, H.R. 4351, passed the House without opposition by voice vote. 

The United States is suffering from a severe housing crisis, with a shortage of seven to ten million housing units. This shortage is stressing our nation’s housing ecosystem and driving up the cost of shelter for all Americans. From homeowners to renters, market-rate to affordable homes, and urban to suburban areas, no corner of our nation has managed to avoid the economic impacts of our nationwide housing crisis. 

H.R. 4351, introduced by Rep. Denny Heck (WA-10) and Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) in September 2019, would address housing underproduction in the United States by requiring local governments receiving federal housing development funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to track and report on policies that may affect housing affordability. The bill would also increase transparency on local land use policies and encourage localities to reduce barriers to housing production.

“America is missing millions of homes, and solving our nationwide housing crisis will require federal, state and local governments to work together towards this shared goal,” said Heck. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant and we need to identify and reduce barriers to housing construction at the local level. In passing the YIMBY Act, I am proud that Congress is taking a critical first step towards bringing relief to cost-burdened renters and homeowners across America.”

“We want more affordable homes for American families,” said Hollingsworth. “Today’s bipartisan passage of YIMBY signals strong support across the aisle to reform our nation’s housing regulations at all levels of government.”

H.R. 4351 is supported by: 

  • 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 Home Builders
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts
  • National Association of REALTORS
  • National Leased Housing Association
  • National Community Stabilization Trust
  • National Multifamily Housing Council
  • Prosperity Now
  • Real Estate Roundtable
  • Smart Growth America
  • Up for Growth Action
  • YIMBY Action

H.R. 4351 was reported favorably out of the House Financial Services Committee by voice vote on Friday, February 28. The Senate companion bill (S. 1919) was introduced in June 2019 by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).

Congressman Heck’s floor speech on this legislation: