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Yes in My Backyard Act moves closer to becoming law

The National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and National Apartment Association (NAA) have hailed the passage of the Yes in My Backyard (YIMBY) Act and the Housing is Infrastructure Act through the House Financial Services Committee.

The two groups said they were please to the House Financial Services Committee successfully marked up two bills that, if signed into law, could remove barriers to housing development and will help address the nation’s housing affordability crisis.

“There is no doubt communities across the country are facing serious housing affordability challenges,” said the groups in a joint statement.

“NMHC and NAA support the passage of H.R. 4351, the Yes in My Backyard (YIMBY Act), sponsored by Denny Heck (D-WA) and Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), which aims to eliminate discriminatory land use policies and remove barriers that depress production of housing in the United States by requiring Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to report on the extent to which they are removing discriminatory land use policies.

“NMHC and NAA also support the passage of H.R. 5187, the Housing is Infrastructure Act, sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), which makes bold investments in our nation’s housing stock and looks to remove barriers to the development of multifamily rental housing by providing $10 billion in a CDBG set-aside to incentivize states and cities to eliminate impact fees and responsibly streamline the process for development of affordable housing.”

Recent NMHC and NAA research found that the country needs to build 328,000 apartments every year between 2016 and 2030 to meet the nation’s housing needs.

However, the apartment industry faces significant barriers to new apartment construction, development and renovation.

U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced the YIMBY Act last summer to shed light on discriminatory land use policies, encourage localities cut burdensome regulations, and bring a new level of transparency to the community development process.

Instead of adopting inclusive land use policies that allow citizens of all income levels, backgrounds, and identities to live, work, and flourish in their city or town,Young said some communities are building paper walls of regulations around themselves that negatively affect and sometimes discriminate against low- and middle-income Americans.

The YIMBY Act would require Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to go on the record with why they are not adopting specific pro-affordability and anti-discriminatory housing policies.

“Burdensome and discriminatory local zoning and land use policies drive up housing costs in communities across America,” said Senator Young.

“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.”

The bill would require states to detail their rationale for choosing not to cut harmful land use regulations and the country continues to grapple with a housing affordability crisis.

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