The YIGBYs are back: Push to let churches build affordable housing on their land revived in California

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The fight that gave rise to yet another California housing-related moniker — Yes in God’s Back Yard, or YIGBY — is back as a state senator revives a bill that would allow churches to build affordable housing on their parking lots.

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, reintroduced a measure Thursday that would make it easier for religious groups to build housing by removing local zoning restrictions. The bill would apply to churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith organizations, as well as nonprofit colleges, that want to build apartments or condos on excess land they own.

Abram Diaz, policy director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, which is sponsoring the bill, said there are potentially thousands of sites statewide where future housing could go up on church-owned lots.

“There’s been a bit of a break in the stalemate,” Diaz said. “I don’t think we can afford to wait one more year for these bills to sit at the table. The affordable-housing crisis has only got more serious.”

Read more via San Francisco Chronicle