How “ YIMBY ” Act Deregulation Can Help Manufactured Housing Solve Our Affordable Housing Shortage
A recent Wall Street Journal article painted a grim picture of the U.S. housing market.
“Construction of new housing in the past 20 years fell 5.5 million units short of long-term historical levels, according to a new National Association of Realtors report,” the Journal reported, and “from 2010 to 2020, new home construction fell 6.8 million units short of what was needed to meet household formation growth and replace units that were aging or destroyed by natural disasters.”
(NOTE: The following contains excerpts from an article titled – More Affordable Housing? Yes, in MY Backyard – by Todd Young & Tim Phillips posted online August 6, 2021 by NR/Capital Matters).
A large part of the problem: For years, local governments have erected unnecessary barriers that stand in the way of homeowners, homebuyers, and home builders using their land as these land-use agencies see fit, driving up prices for all Americans.
The antidote for solving the affordable housing crisis is, and has been factory-built quality affordable housing. For too long local and state restrictive zoning laws have eliminated the opportunity for thousands of hardworking citizens to partake in the uniquely American dream of homeownership, as represented by today’s modern manufactured housing.
U.S. Congress Bill Would Replace “NIMBY” With “YIMBY” Attitude.
U.S. Indiana Senator (R.) Todd Young and a group of bipartisan lawmakers have taken action to introduce the YIMBY Act in the Senate and House. This bill would discourage exclusionary land-use policies and remove barriers to making housing more affordable.
“For too long, restrictive policies have been the result of a Not, in My Backyard, ‘NIMBY’ attitude. We want to replace that with a Yes, In My Backyard, ‘YIMBY’ way of looking at housing,” said Senator Young.
The bill would make receipt of Community Development Block Grant funding to localities conditional on recipients reporting to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the progress they are making on eliminating burdensome permitting requirements and restrictive zoning policies such as limits on duplexes, multi-family housing, and particularly manufactured homes.
We know that a HUD reporting requirement won’t by itself knock down barriers to new housing that have been decades in the making. But it would provide useful information on the scope of the problem, increase accountability of local leaders who fail to make progress on removing restrictive policies and provide the federal government with a platform for encouraging more policies that accommodate additional housing development.
As the Trump administration, White House Council of Economic Advisers explained in February 2020: “We find that a key driver of the housing unaffordability problem is the overregulation of housing markets by State and local governments, which limits supply. By driving up home prices, overregulation adversely affects low-income Americans in particular, who spend the largest share of their income on housing.”
The Biden administration’s economic team echoed this concern, noting last month that exclusionary zoning laws “translate into… more expensive housing and fewer homes being built, “with “a profound impact on social welfare because where a family lives matters.”