Senators Young and Schatz Reintroduce the “Yes in My Backyard Act”

Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) on May 13 reintroduced the “Yes in My Backyard Act (YIMBY),” which aims to increase transparency and encourage affordable housing development in more communities by requiring Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to explain why they do not implement inclusive zoning practices that help increase housing opportunities for low- and middle-income residents. The bill was first introduced on June 20, 2019 (see Memo, 07/01/2019) and passed the House after being introduced by Representatives Denny Heck (D-WA) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) (see Memo, 03/09/2020).

The YIMBY Act would encourage the implementation of 20 anti-discriminatory land-use policies to facilitate creation of new affordable housing in more communities. The list covers policies such as rezoning areas for high-density housing, encouraging mixed-use development and transit-oriented development, reducing minimum-lot-size requirements, allowing accessory dwellings, donation of vacant land, among other provisions. The bill would require CDBG grantees to submit a report every five years stating: 1) if they have implemented anti-discriminatory land-use policies, 2) if they plan to implement the policies, or 3) the reasons why they have not adopted the policies. These reports would have no impact on the amount of money grantees receive, however.

“Discriminatory local zoning and land use policies drive up housing costs in communities across America,” said Senator Young in a press release. “These policies exacerbate the housing affordability crisis and stifle the ability of Americans to move to areas of opportunity. My legislation will require cities, towns, and rural areas across America to face this reality under a new level of transparency and encourage them to cut these harmful regulations.”

Read about the bill is at:

Senator Young’s press release about the bill is at: