MBA, Trade Groups Offer Support for ‘YIMBY’ Bill

You’ve heard, of NIMBY, of course–Not In My Back Yard. Turns out, there’s also YIMBY–Yes, In My Back Yard. And in this case, YIMBY is something the Mortgage Bankers Association and other industry trade groups like.

In a letter last week, MBA and nearly a dozen other groups expressed support for H.R. 4351, the Yes in My Backyard, or YIMBY, Act. The bill (, sponsored by Reps. Denny Heck, D-Calif.; Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., Mike Quigley, D-Ill.; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash.; Lacy Clay, D-Mo.; and Virginia Foxx, R-N.C.; encourages communities to eliminate discriminatory land use policies and remove barriers that prevent the production of needed housing in communities throughout the United States. It gives HUD a role to play in solving the housing shortage and affordability crisis.

The letter supports the bill’s provision that would require Community Development Block Grant recipients to report the extent to which they are implementing specific pro-affordability and anti-discriminatory housing policies. Rather than dictating to local governments the policies that they should implement, the YIMBY Act would create a reporting requirement under the existing Consolidated Plan Reporting that would require localities to publicly detail policies that they are implementing pursuant to a specified list of options.

“Introduction of the YIMBY Act comes at a critical time in the debate over housing affordability and availability,” the letter said. “According to Up for Growth’s 2018 report Housing Underproduction in the U.S., the country failed to produce 7.3 million homes between 2000 and 2015. This shortage of homes means families pay more rent and face unnecessary barriers to jobs and amenities. Nearly half of the country’s renter households are cost burdened negatively impacting household budgets and preventing communities from achieving their desired economic potential.”

The letter said recognizing and eliminating exclusionary policies–zoning and density restrictions, onerous parking requirements and other regulations–is an important first step in decreasing barriers to housing. “The YIMBY Act will help communities recognize their own agency in the housing shortage and provide them with a framework for smarter policymaking,” it said. “The bipartisan sponsorship of this bill demonstrates the congress’ commitment to innovative solutions to improve the lives of American families.”A companion bill is in the Senate, introduced by Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind. (

Joining MBA in the letter: the American Planning Association; Habitat for Humanity International; the Housing Advisory Group; Leading Builders of America; the National Apartment Association; the National Association of Realtors; the National Multifamily Housing Council; Prosperity Now; Smart Growth America and Up for Growth Action.