MBA backs House bill to support home shortage and affordability hurdles

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As the affordable housing crisis comes to a head, the Mortgage Bankers Association put up opposition to the "not in my backyard" mindset by getting behind the Yes, In My Backyard bill introduced by the House of Representatives.

YIMBY calls on communities to break down barriers and discriminatory land use policies that prevent the production of needed housing, according to the MBA. It opens the door for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to set aim at the housing shortage and affordability crisis plaguing the nation.

"Introduction of the YIMBY Act comes at a critical time in the debate over housing affordability and availability," said a letter of support by the MBA and a number of trade groups. "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 was addressed to those sponsoring the legislation, which are Reps. Denny Heck, D-Wash., Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., Mike Quigley, D-Ill., Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Lacy Clay, D-Mo., and Virginia Foxx, R-N.C. Alongside the MBA, the letter was signed by other industry and consumer trade groups, including the National Multifamily Housing Council, Habitat for Humanity and National Association of Realtors.

The bill provides parameters for smarter policymaking as well the removal of exclusionary zoning, parking and density restrictions. YIMBY would also hold community developers responsible for reporting how they implement pro-affordability and anti-discriminatory housing policies.

"Housing is on the move on Capitol Hill," Mike Kingsella, executive director at Up for Growth Action, said in a press release. "The Members of Congress gathered for our Legislative Advocacy Day are committed to solving America's housing shortage and affordability crisis. For far too long, Congress and the federal government have sat on the sidelines while millions of American families sink deeper into housing insecurity — a byproduct of the country's 7.3-million unit housing shortage. Fortunately, Congress is waking up to the severity of the housing crisis."

Recently, the MBA also pledged support for the Build More Housing Near Transit Act, a bipartisan bill for increasing transportation-oriented affordable housing and in turn, helping fight climate change.

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