FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Calling affordable housing a first-order priority, Senator Todd Young (R, Indiana) briefed journalists in the Fort Wayne Media Collaborative about his “Yes in My Backyard” bill which would require local planners to report when they are implementing historically discriminatory land use and zoning policies.
Young said a primary driver of rising home prices is the requirement of state and local governments for new homes to have things such as large yards, brick exteriors, minimum square footage or expensive cosmetic features.
The YIMBY Act would shed light on – but not stop – planners who approve high-end housing over more affordable options.
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” said Young. “If we can bring transparency to zoning and land use policies then the American people have the ability to determine when discriminatory policies are inappropriate and to prevent them from happening, or to vote out local office holders if they won’t listen.”
The legislation has received bipartisan support but has been held in committee for a year. It would withhold federal money in the form of Community Development Block Grants from local governments who don’t report.
Young would be suspect of non-reporters. “I would infer as a local resident that my community probably was engaging in indefensible discriminatory land use or zoning policies.”
Compliance time and costs would be minimal, he said. Planners would simply report the reasons behind their zoning decisions. Young thought it would take less than 30 minutes.
Young said the legislation would not only bring about more affordable housing but also be good for the nation’s civic health.
“We should not be a nation of gated communities,” he implored. “We need to know one another. Our ability to be citizens in this republic is impaired if we don’t live near people who are somewhat different than we are.”
Young urged President Joe Biden, who has shown support for the idea, to push the bill through Congress.
“This has been endorsed by conservative and progressive groups alike which is all the more reason why I welcome a phone call from the president so that we can get this done.”
For more information, visit https://www.wane.com/news/local-news/sen-young-yes-in-my-backyard-could-reveal-housing-discrimination/
This article is distributed in partnership with the Fort Wayne Media Collaborative, a group of media outlets and educational institutions in Fort Wayne committed to solutions-oriented reporting. More information is available at fwmediacollaborative.com.
Longtime Fort Wayne broadcaster Dirk Rowley joined WANE 15 as evening anchor in August of 2018.
Dirk’s history with the station goes back further. You might remember him in the early 1990s as a fill-in weatherman during some noon, weekend or holiday newscasts. “Let’s just say the meteorologists have nothing to worry about. No need to revisit that chapter. ”
Prior to joining WANE 15, Dirk hosted and produced a daily half hour TV talk show, which featured leaders of government, business, and non-profit groups. During those four years, Dirk interviewed nearly 1% of the population of northeast Indiana. “Few jobs offer the chance to engage four different groups a day – roughly 1,000 a year – to learn about how they are making a difference. I spent four years in ‘listening mode.’”
Before TV, Dirk spent 30 years in radio, much of that hosting perennial favorite “Majic in the Morning with Dirk and Jeannette” on WAJI-FM. The pair led the annual Riley Radiothon, raising roughly $1 million to help sick children. Dirk was often the only male reporting daily from the annual Vera Bradley Outlet sale. “The stories were more colorful than the bags.” Dirk also used his radio show to help in the early development of Kate’s Kart children’s charity. He has worked or lived in all four quadrants of the Summit City.
Dirk began his broadcast career in Marion, IN, working full-time while attending Eastbrook High School. He continued working his way through college at Taylor University, where he received a B.A. degree in Broadcasting and for two years wrote a weekly column in the school newspaper. He arrived in Fort Wayne in 1989, working at WQHK, WMEE, and WBTU. He also worked briefly in Las Vegas and South Bend before returning to Fort Wayne.
Dirk married a Snider grad; his three children are graduates of Carroll. His family has attended Pathway Community Church since it began. He golfs poorly, reads constantly, and goes to restaurants like it’s his job.
For story ideas, email Dirk at firstname.lastname@example.org.