March 02, 2020

House Passes New Dem-Endorsed Housing Legislation

Today, the House of Representatives passed the New Dem-endorsed Yes in My Back Yard (YIMBY) Act, led by NDC Housing Task Force Co-Chair Denny Heck (WA-10). Affordable housing is becoming increasingly scarce and expensive. This bipartisan legislation will help address burdensome restrictions on land use, one of the root causes of our nation’s housing shortfall identified in the NDC Housing Task Force’s 2018 Missing Millions of Homes report.

The YIMBY Act, H.R. 4351, aims to address housing affordability by increasing transparency of local zoning and land use policies, which can present considerable barriers to affordable and market-rate housing construction. YIMBY requires local governments applying for federal housing development funds through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to report whether they have enacted policies to reduce counterproductive regulations that may affect housing affordability.

"As the Housing Task Force's report on the housing shortage states, America is missing millions of homes," said NDC Housing Task Force Co-Chair Denny Heck (WA-10). "Solving our nationwide housing crisis will require federal, state and local governments to identify and reduce barriers to housing construction, which in turn will require more transparency. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. I'm proud that we are continuing to look for innovative solutions to make housing more affordable.”

“New Democrat Coalition Members, like Rep. Denny Heck, have been leading the way to develop forward-looking policies to address out nation’s housing crisis. The YIMBY Act is a strong step forward for addressing housing affordability, and I am pleased to see it pass the House,” said NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “The NDC will continue to engage with Democrats and Republicans to tackle one of our nation’s greatest challenges and promote the development of more affordable housing.”

House passage of the YIMBY Act advances a key component of the NDC’s 20 for 2020 Policy Agenda, the “Promote Affordable Housing” priority, by allowing for more construction of affordable homes in more places. As Americans face housing shortages and surging costs, the NDC will continue its work to address the factors that drive a lack of affordable housing across the country. Earlier this Congress, the NDC Housing Task Force hosted two housing forums on Capitol Hill focused on the challenges that contribute to America’s housing supply shortage and a forum on solutions to address them. Building off of those findings, the NDC endorsed a slate of bills in 2019 to act on these challenges and encourage the investment and reforms required to meet our nation’s housing needs.