Up for Growth Action Pushes for Pro-Housing Policy Ahead of 117th Congress

Up for Growth Action is founded on the premise that America needs more homes; focused on federal housing policies that reduce barriers to housing

November 18, 2020 | Up for Growth Action
Reading time: 7 minutes min

WASHINGTON, DC – Up for Growth Action, a 501(c)(4) federal pro-housing legislative advocacy campaign focused on advancing policies that achieve housing equity, eliminate systemic barriers, and create more homes, announced today its new Board and executive committee, representing all pillars of the housing sector and all corners of the country. Up for Growth Action will continue to advocate for pro-housing policies at the federal level, specifically targeting exclusionary zoning and discriminatory land use policies that exacerbate the country’s 7.3-million-home shortage. Up for Growth Action is the only federal advocacy campaign focused exclusively on breaking down barriers to affordable and market-rate housing.

“Whether it’s the millions of Americans who have fallen behind on rent during the pandemic, or the millions more who were already struggling to cover the cost of housing prior to COVID-19, housing was on the ballot on November 3,” said Mike Kingsella, Executive Director of Up for Growth Action. “The next Congress and new Administration cannot afford to ignore the immediate and long-term challenges of housing in the United States because we have a housing shortage that affects nearly every aspect of Americans' lives. Up for Growth Action will be on the front lines of advancing a bipartisan, pro-housing agenda that increases access to high-quality housing in vibrant neighborhoods at prices all Americans can afford.”

Up for Growth Action’s Directors are:

  • Cynthia Parker, Chairwoman of the Board and Member of the Executive Committee. President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, San Francisco, CA
  • Neala Martin, Secretary and Treasurer and Member of the Executive Committee. Senior Vice President, Acquisitions, CREA, LLC, New York, NY
  • Doug Bibby, Member of the Executive Committee. President, National Multifamily Housing Council, Washington, DC
  • Ken Gear, Member of the Executive Committee. CEO, Leading Builders of America, Washington, DC
  • Chuck Leitner, Member of the Executive Committee. CEO, CBRE Global Investors, New York, NY
  • Kevin Dinnie. Chief Operating Officer, Trammell Crow Residential, Dallas, TX
  • Adrienne Bush. Executive Director, Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky, Frankfort, KY
  • Roderick Hall. Director of Organizing, Abundant Housing LA, Los Angeles, CA
  • Antonio Marquez. Managing Partner, Comunidad Partners, San Diego, CA
  • Kris Siglin. Vice President for Policy and Partnerships, National Community Stabilization Trust, Washington, DC 
  • Bob Simpson. Founder, Simpson Impact Strategies, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Dr. Akilah Watkins-Butler. President and CEO, Center for Community Progress, Flint, MI

"Through strategic, bipartisan legislative advocacy, Up for Growth Action is helping communities address the housing affordability crisis," said Cynthia Parker. "Their work supports the creation of affordable homes, jobs, and transit-oriented development - all critical to our country's economic recovery and growth."
 
America’s housing crisis is driven by two separate, but interrelated challenges: growing income inequality that prevents widespread access to quality and affordable housing, and a severe shortage of homes. Both require proactive legislative solutions. Up for Growth Action is focused on policies that enable communities to build housing needed to meet the country’s 7.3-million-home shortage, as determined by research from Up for Growth. 

“Improving housing accessibility and affordability across the full spectrum of American society is critical in transforming the communities in which we live, work, play and invest,” said Chuck Leitner. “Driving the real estate investment and operating industry’s deeper engagement in addressing these and other housing issues is fundamental in the process and is why Up for Growth Action’s mission is so vitally important."

Up for Growth Action supports policies focused on tearing down systemic barriers to housing development, such as exclusionary zoning, and increasing access to capital for affordable housing development. Advancing solutions that address these challenges creates what Up for Growth Action terms “accessible growth” – prioritizing housing production in areas of high economic opportunity, areas that leverage investments in transportation and infrastructure, and in areas where jobs already exist.
 
"Across Kentucky, our families and communities are facing a severe shortage of affordable homes,” said Adrienne Bush. “This crisis is both urban and rural in nature, and the existing mechanisms are not sufficient to meet Kentuckians' needs. HHCK stands in support of Up for Growth Action's strategies to meet demand, not just in Kentucky, but throughout the United States.”

Though a relatively new organization, Up for Growth Action already boasts progress in enacting its legislative agenda. Earlier in 2020, the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act passed the U.S. House without opposition. The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, the Build More Housing Near Transit Act, and the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act – all endorsed and advanced by Up for Growth Action - were included in the House-passed Moving Forward Act. Though primarily focused on federal policy, earlier this year in California, Up for Growth Action led the effort to pass AB 2345, which expands the state’s density bonus law and is projected to add nearly 200,000 new homes to the state over the next five years, many of which will be affordable.
 
“Of the many national organizations, Up for Growth Action is well positioned to help lead the charge as communities around America seek to reimagine their entire landscape,” said Roderick Hall. “And given that housing is a civil rights issue, the work by Up for Growth Action to advance pro-housing policy matters now more than ever. We must ensure that all Americans have access to opportunity, especially our BIPOC and low-income communities.”
 
The incoming Biden-Harris Administration has already outlined a comprehensive housing plan well-aligned with Up for Growth Action, including a focus on reducing exclusionary zoning to increase housing stock, direct investment in housing, and recognizing the relationship between where people live and their overall wellbeing. 
 
“We laid the groundwork for pro-housing policy through our work in the 116th Congress,” continued Kingsella. “In the 117th Congress, we will push these policies across the finish line.”

To learn more about Up for Growth Action, please visit www.upforgrowthaction.org. Quotes from other Up for Growth Action board members can be found here.

Up for Growth Action® is a 501(c)(4) federal legislative advocacy campaign promoting federal policies that achieve housing equity, eliminate systemic barriers, and create more homes. Up for Growth Action® relies on the work of Up for Growth®, a 501(c)(3) pro-housing policy and research member network that forges unexpected partnerships among practitioners, stakeholders, and lawmakers to develop policy solutions to the housing crisis.