YIMBY Action Supports the Build Housing Near Transit Act Reintroduced in Congress This Week

November 6, 2023

Congressman Peters re-introduced his Build More Housing Near Transit Act to create walkable communities with transit-oriented, low- and middle-income housing developments. The bill will maximize federal transit funding, tackle rising rents, and get more cars off the road.

Read more about it in this November 4th piece from Ripon Society, posted below:

YIMBY Action Supports the Build Housing Near Transit Act Reintroduced in Congress This Week

By David Greenwald

November 4, 2023

Bipartisan legislation was introduced this week in the House and Senate by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA-50) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5), and Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Mike Braun (R-IN) – the Build More Housing Near Transit Act.

The legislation seeks to encourage construction of new homes, including low- and middle-income homes, in transit-served, walkable communities.

In addition, the bill, aims to facilitate the construction of more housing, increase transit ridership, and maximize federal investments while slowing the effects of climate change.

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the United States has a shortage of 7.3 million affordable rental homes, and 11.3 million Americans spend more than half of their income on housing. In California, there is a shortage of 1.3 million homes for extremely low-income renters.

“San Diego, like many communities across the country, faces a growing housing crisis that forces people to move far from where they work,” said Rep. Peters. “Our bill will maximize federal investments in transit and increase housing options for cost-burdened Americans to alleviate this pressure. On top of that, it boosts our efforts to protect the environment by growing transit ridership and getting more cars off the road.”

“It’s no secret that many cities across America, including Spokane, are facing unprecedented workforce and housing shortages,” said Chair Rodgers. “Our bipartisan bill aims to address these challenges by expanding access to affordable housing near transit centers that will help people live more comfortably in and around the communities where they work.”

“The clearest way out of our national housing shortage is by building more housing,” said Senator Schatz, Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. “Our bipartisan bill will incentivize cities to build housing when they expand or redevelop their public transit systems. This will help put more families in homes, grow local economies, and cut carbon pollution. It’s a win for everyone”

“For too long, transit and housing issues have run in parallel,” said Senator Braun. “This bill finally marries the two by giving local governments the tools they need to encourage high density and mixed use development to help relieve the affordable housing crisis. This bill gives local communities the resources they need to build more housing near transit systems and encourages them to enable their economies to grow through more housing options for families.”

The Build More Housing Near Transit Act would incentivize local governments to promote building new homes in and around transit corridors of future New Starts projects. The bill adds pro-housing policies to existing law so local governments will be incentivized to make the following changes near transit corridors

  • Eliminate parking minimums
  • Establish by-right permitting for projects that meet objective standards
  • Reduce minimum lot sizes
  • Create and preserve affordable homes
  • Raise or eliminate height limits

The bill has gained the support of YIMBY Action and its 50 chapters across the country.

“YIMBY Action and our chapters across the country call for the swift introduction and passage of the Build More Housing Near Transit Act,” said Laura Foote, Executive Director of YIMBY Action.

“Housing and transit go together, and this commonsense approach will help us build more housing in walkable, transit-served areas,” Foote explained. “The national housing shortage has dramatically driven up the cost of living, eroding the middle class and driving millions of Americans into poverty. The Build More Housing Near Transit Act takes critical steps to help us build more sustainable communities, rich with opportunity for all.”

“The Build Housing Near Transit Act is a necessary step toward building dense, walkable neighborhoods across the country, which is one of the most impactful ways to fight climate change,” said Joanna Gubman, Executive Director of Urban Environmentalists and Environmental Director at YIMBY Action.

“This bill will add significant support for SF YIMBY’s efforts to make San Francisco affordable for people at all income levels,” said Jane Natoli, Organizing Director of SF YIMBY. “We need a lot more housing, and this bill will help incentivize key pro-housing policies we fight for at the local level.”

“YIMBY Denver is thrilled to support the Build Housing Near Transit Act,” said Connor Riley, Organizer for YIMBY Denver. “These incentives for investing in pro-housing policies will boost our local efforts and help make Denver neighborhoods affordable, equitable, and sustainable. Denver is not full.”



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