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Yes In My Backyard Act Reported Out of Committee

Feb 28, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, the bipartisan Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, H.R. 4351, passed the House Financial Services Committee by voice vote.

According to Up For Growth Action, a non-profit organization that focuses on housing affordability, from 2000 to 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. As these regulations have increased, they have resulted in fewer homes being built, and untenable cost increases.

The YIMBY Act, introduced by Reps. Denny Heck (WA-10) and Trey Hollingsworth (IN-09) on September 17, 2019, addresses this by requiring local governments applying for federal housing development funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to report on policies that may affect housing affordability.

Specifically, the YIMBY Act would require recipients of CDBG funding to track and report on the implementation of certain land use policies that promote housing production, such as enacting high-density single-family and multifamily zoning, addressing height limitations, encouraging and reducing minimum lot size.

H.R. 4351 would increase transparency on local land use policies and encourage localities to reduce barriers to housing production.

“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 Financial Services Committee and all of the supporting organizations for coming together and help 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. 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:

  • 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
  • Up for Growth Action
  • YIMBY Action

Original cosponsors of H.R. 4351 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 2019 by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).