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YIMBY Action Basic Questionnaire - 8 Questions
Thank you for taking the time to answer this housing questionnaire! Our membership is excited to see your answers and work with you to build a more equitable and affordable community.
Please feel free to refer to any work you have done on these topics in your answers. Do not feel the need to be lengthy in your answers, we prefer short and specific over long and evasive.
If you have questions about anything here, please feel free to reach out to
or speak with a local member. We understand that candidates may be thinking about housing and land use for the first time, and we are happy to share with you our opinions and educational resources.
YIMBY Action is active in multiple regions across the state and advocates for better housing policy at the local, state, and national levels. We are a network of affiliated pro-housing organizations fighting for more inclusive housing policy. If YIMBY Action endorses in your area, you may see that endorsement referred to as both the YIMBY Action endorsement and the endorsement of a local affiliated club.
The following questionnaire is informed by The YIMBY Action Core Four, which can be found on our website at
What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?
What office are you seeking?
In what jurisdiction are you seeking office?
The Big Picture: More Housing For All
Our support for more housing is impossible to separate from our desire to alleviate poverty, grow the economy, end homelessness, eliminate racial segregation, and stop climate change. The damage caused by our current housing shortage spreads inexorably into every aspect of our lives; it is an almost universal problem in American communities. Ending the housing shortage is necessary to address the racial wealth gap, stopping climate change, and many other problems society faces.
When we fail to construct enough houses, working class families lose the ability to own a home, while renters are similarly cost-burdened. This constant upward pressure on prices means that lower-income individuals and families find it ever more difficult to juggle their financial obligations. This exacerbates the homelessness crisis, as more people are priced out of their homes.
The housing shortage is rooted in a long history of racist practices. Systemic racism, both the legacy of explicitly racist policies and an ongoing system of implicitly racist ones, hurts people of color and makes our communities more segregated. Federal, state, and local governments have used housing policy to exclude people of color. People of color are also especially vulnerable to the soaring costs caused by the housing shortage. Deliberate policies have denied people of color and especially Black families access to wealth and opportunity. These policies continue to this day in the form of modern exclusionary housing policies.
Recognizing this shameful history is critical; the policies we advocate for must intentionally address historical wrongs as we create a housing abundant future. We endeavor to enact thoughtful legislation that builds more housing while simultaneously protecting existing vulnerable populations.
The housing shortage is a result of harmful laws passed at all levels of government. YIMBY Action advocates for many policy changes which we bucket into “The Core Four.” These are the inclusive housing policies that will help shrink the racial wealth gap, reduce displacement, reduce carbon emissions, and give more people access to jobs and high quality schools.
Do you support allowing the construction of more housing at all levels of affordability, including both subsidized-affordable and market-rate homes?
Legalize Housing: Upzone to allow more housing in every neighborhood
American neighborhoods are often defined by exclusion. Our system of exclusionary zoning bans duplexes, apartments, subsidized affordable housing, student housing and more in most “residential” areas. Excluding these types of residencies keeps neighborhoods homogenous and makes housing more expensive. YIMBYs advocate for the end of this ban on apartments and other kinds of housing; we want to end exclusionary zoning.
Up-zoning is especially important in wealthy, high-opportunity neighborhoods where current zoning laws perpetuate racial and class segregation.
Policies we have advocated for in this category include California’s More HOMES Act (SB 50), density bonuses, legalizing Accessory Dwelling Units (aka granny flats), and zoning overlays.
Do you support rezoning to allow new apartments in neighborhoods that only allow single family homes? Do you support other rezonings that increase housing in exclusionary neighborhoods?
Building Housing Faster
Even where housing is technically allowed, complex and arbitrary permitting can stall, scale back, or prevent its development in practice. Complex permitting creates an arbitrary system where opportunities for corruption flourish while the length of development drags on for years. This drives up the cost of new housing, further stressing an already overburdened and too expensive system. This byzantine permitting process is often wielded by wealthy homeowners looking to block new developments in their neighborhoods.
Improving permitting is especially important in exclusionary neighborhoods where more privileged residents have better ability to exert political influence and file frivolous lawsuits.
Policies in this category include California’s SB 35, “by right” or “as of right” permitting, permit streamlining, and reform of environmental review processes.
Do you support streamlining the permitting of housing to get housing built faster? What do you think about the idea of by-right permitting, where housing that pays all fees and meets all planning, health, and other building codes is approved without delay?
Funding Affordable Housing
It is unlikely that the private market will ever provide sufficient housing for the lowest income populations. YIMBYs believe that a critical part of achieving housing justice is to increase public funding for income-qualified housing at the federal, state and local levels.
There are many kinds of subsidized affordable, social, and public housing, and many ways to fund this critical housing. While the financing can get complicated, the need for more subsidized affordable housing is obvious.
Policies in this category include bonds for affordable housing, increasing Section 8 funding, and utilizing existing government resources to increase funding for subsidized housing.
Do you support increasing funding for subsidized affordable housing? If so, where do you believe the funding could come from?
YIMBYs believe a big part of getting more communities to say YES to housing will require reforming laws that currently incentivize communities to say no to new homes.
Poorly designed tax structures have a multitude of negative effects. From the way we tax land to the distribution of revenue between federal, state, and local governments, cities face powerful incentives to add jobs while limiting housing. Cities and towns are often able to grow their tax base while limiting costly services that would otherwise drain their municipal coffers. As local governments struggle with insufficient budgets, they often intentionally add excessive requirements for housing developers to fund local needs. This further discourages home building and can make middle income housing infeasible.
States need to offer more help to our municipalities and re-align these broken incentives so that it makes financial sense to build.
Policies in this category include eliminating parking requirements, improving regional coordination on transit, and reforming broken tax policies that discourage residential building, such as California’s Proposition 13.
What is a major tax or governance structure that you think needs reform?
YIMBYs believe new housing must not displace existing residents. Achieving development without displacement requires strong tenant protections, such as Right to Return and Just Cause eviction protections.
What is an important tenant protection that you believe should be improved or expanded?
Your Housing Experience
Why is housing affordability personal to you? What work have you done to advocate for housing?
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you as we consider our endorsement votes?
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This form was created inside of Yimby Action.