On October 13, 2023, Ellia Thompson was quoted in Daily Journal on California’s new “Yes in God’s Back Yard” (YIGBY) law, which is supposed to make it easier for churches and higher education institutions to create new affordable housing projects on their land. According to the article, the law is one of 56 housing-related bills Governor Gavin Newsom signed on Thursday, in hopes of alleviating the housing crunch in California.
“I don’t think any one bill is going to result in getting us hundreds of thousands of units built, which is what we need” said Thompson, while also noting that the YIGBY law could “produce a miracle.”
Thompson also explained that to alleviate the California housing crunch, changes to the state’s Private Attorney General Act laws—such as stricter limits on when plaintiffs can seek attorney fees when suing to stop a project—must be considered. “I would more clearly define what constitutes a public benefit,” Thompson added. “You don’t get to play with house money.