Up for Growth Action applauds introduction of the YIMBY Act to shed light on discriminatory land use policies and encourage elimination of artificial barriers to housing affordability

Communities receiving federal housing grants would have to justify policies

June 25, 2019 | Up for Growth
Apartment Building at Bellevue and Pine in Seattle
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WASHINGTON, DC – 

Putting legislation behind pro-housing ideas Up for Growth Action has promoted since 2018, The Yes in My Backyard (“YIMBY”) Act would encourage communities to eliminate discriminatory land use policies and remove barriers that prevent needed housing from being built around the country.

The legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), is part of a growing bipartisan effort that includes proposals to free up funding for low-income housing. It requires Community Development Block Grant (“CDBG”) recipients to report to what extent they are implementing specific pro-affordability and anti-discriminatory housing policies. The bill does not dictate what policies local governments should implement. Instead, it requires them to detail their rationale for choosing not to cut harmful land use regulations.

“Up for Growth Action stands ready to help Sen. Young and his colleagues eliminate exclusionary zoning and other artificial barriers to housing that that perpetuate inequity,” said Mike Kingsella, Executive Director of Up for Growth Action. “Many of these regulations have shameful roots in racism, and today they contribute to the housing shortage and affordability crisis that impacts large parts of the country.”

The YIMBY Act would shed light on discriminatory land use policies, encourage localities to eliminate barriers to housing, and bring new transparency to community development. It aligns well with Up for Growth Action’s mission to improve the quality of life for working families by promoting policies that enable more housing close to jobs, efficient transportation, and in high opportunity neighborhoods.

Removing artificial barriers to housing is a critical component of solving the complex housing crisis, but it is not the whole solution; the YIMBY Act, coupled with more funding for affordable housing, could help transform the broken housing ecosystem.

The introduction of the YIMBY Act is a positive sign on housing policy in Washington, DC, along with the recent introduction of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, and the Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act.

For a copy of the press release, click here.