The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan "Yes In My Backyard" (YIMBY) Act this week, which aims to address the country’s affordable housing crisis by reducing barriers to increase housing production.
The bill also calls for reducing minimum lot size; allowing manufactured homes in areas zoned primarily for single-family residential homes; and allowing for duplexes in areas zoned mostly for single-family residential homes.
The U.S. has a shortage of up to 10 million housing units, and the YIMBY bill would help fill that gap in part by requiring that federal housing development funds, through a Community Development Block Grant Program, be given to local governments to keep track of policies that might affect affordable housing.
"America is missing millions of homes, and solving our nationwide housing crisis will require federal, state and local governments to work together towards this shared goal," Heck said in a statement.
The housing crisis has been a contentious issue between federal, state and city leaders. President Trump and U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson have been vocal about their criticism of the homelessness problem on a local level, especially in California cities. Carson has gone so far as to call out California out on Fox News, and Trump at one point claimed that the federal government might need to "intercede."
In February, the White House also released its annual report of the Council of Economic Advisors, which said "excessive regulatory barriers" on housing on the local level are responsible for high home prices and low supplies.
The hostility between political leaders appears to be changing, however. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently sent a letter to Trump and Carson asking for more federal assistance with the city’s homelessness problem. Carson responded by saying he's looking forward to working with Garcetti.
Opponents to YIMBY have included civic groups in "well-off" areas, WAMU reports. The common complaints among those who oppose YIMBY efforts include that multifamily buildings don't match the existing character of the area, or that they add to noise, parking and congestion.