WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced the Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act 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, 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 Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act works to provide more transparency for citizens, lawmakers, academics, and others to understand and in some cases, critique, a community’s rationale for not adopting anti-discriminatory housing policies. The bill does not encroach on states’ rights because it does not tell localities what policies to implement, it simply requires them to detail their rationale for choosing not to cut harmful land use regulations. The country is dealing with a housing affordability crisis and it’s about time that localities do their part to make housing more affordable for everyone.