Bipartisan Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act Reintroduced

Bill sponsors have reintroduced the legislation in both chambers of Congress. Updated (5/17/2024)

By Jason Lynn |

3 minute read

The House Financial Services Committee passed the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act, H.R. 3507, by a vote of 48-0 Thursday, May 16.  This NAA-backed priority bill will encourage localities to eliminate discriminatory land use policies and remove barriers that prevent needed housing from being built.  Sponsored in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Mike Flood (R-NE) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA), the legislation will require Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to report periodically on the extent to which they are removing discriminatory land use policies and implementing inclusive and affordable housing policies. 

NAA led a broad and diverse coalition effort to support the legislation and overcame some initial hurdles to get the bill to be considered by the committee.  The committee debate was quite positive, with many members citing the impact this bill will have in addressing the housing supply problem faced around the country.  Only one amendment was offered to alter the bill, which failed to garner significant support.  With passage by the committee behind us, our attention now turns to getting the bill considered by the full House of Representatives.  Such action will provide significant momentum for the Senate companion bill (S. 1688) sponsored by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Brian Schatz (D-HI).    

At long last, bipartisan legislation to reduce barriers to housing development has been reintroduced in both chambers of Congress. The Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act (S. 1688 and H.R. 3507) would shed light on discriminatory land use policies, encourage localities to cut burdensome regulations and bring a new level of transparency to the community development process.

Long-supported by NAA, the legislation’s introduction was delayed this year as a new House Republican lead sponsor was secured following the retirement of Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Ind.-9). The bill was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and in the House by Reps. Mike Flood (R-Neb.-1) and Derek Kilmer (D-Wash-6.).

The U.S. needs to build 4.3 million new apartment homes by 2035 to meet the demand for rental housing and address affordability challenges, including an existing shortage of 600,000 apartments stemming from underbuilding in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The rental housing industry faces significant barriers to new apartment construction, development and renovation. Rising costs and regulatory burdens at all levels of government further depress apartment development and rehabilitation nationwide. The most significant barriers are often imposed at the state and local levels of government, and incentives are needed to remove barriers to apartment development and streamline regulatory burdens.

The YIMBY Act would help to eliminate barriers to development by requiring Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) recipients to report periodically on the extent to which they are removing discriminatory land use policies and promoting inclusive and affordable housing. Exclusionary land use policies like zoning and density restrictions, onerous parking requirements and other development regulations exacerbate both the housing supply and affordability crisis.

The National Apartment Association (NAA) will be building support for the YIMBY Act in the coming weeks and months and pushing for its consideration and passage in both the House and the Senate.