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House Passes the “Yes in My Backyard Act”

The House of Representatives passed by voice vote the “Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act” (H.R. 4351) on March 2. NLIHC supports this bill. The bill aims to encourage affordable housing development in more communities and to increase transparency by requiring Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant-receiving jurisdictions to explain why they do not implement inclusive zoning practices that can help increase housing opportunities for low- and middle-income residents. 

Introduced by Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), the bill would encourage CDBG grantees to implement anti-discriminatory land-use policies to facilitate creation of new affordable housing in more communities. The list of more than 20 policies includes: rezoning areas for high-density housing, encouraging mixed-use development and transit-oriented development, reducing minimum-lot-size requirements, allowing accessory dwellings, and ensuring historic preservation requirements encourage construction of housing in historic buildings and districts, among others. The bill would require CDBG grantees to submit a report every five years stating: 1) whether they have implemented anti-discriminatory land-use policies, 2) whether they plan to implement such policies, or 3) the reasons they have not adopted such policies. These reports would have no impact on the amount of money grantees receive.

The “YIMBY Act” currently has 13 bipartisan co-sponsors. A Senate companion bill (S.1919) was introduced by Senator Todd Young (R-IN) in June 2019 (see Memo, 7/01/19).

More information about the bill is at: https://bit.ly/2PMgrke

Representative Heck’s press release about the bill is at: https://bit.ly/3cviAKX