California to Sue City of Huntington Beach for Allegedly Violating State’s Housing Law

California State Seal

California is suing the City of Huntington Beach for allegedly violating the state’s housing law.

On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the lawsuit against the City of Huntington Beach.  The state alleged that the city is willfully blocking affordable housing development and refusing to meet regional needs.

Newsom authorized the legal action after the extensive attempts by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to offer partnership and support to the city to make its housing plan compliant with the state’s housing law.

In September 2017, then Gov. Jerry signed into law AB 72 to restrict the ability of cities and counties to prevent the development of affordable housing. The law took effect on January 1, 2018. Under the law, the state can revoke a city or county’s existing housing plan and report violations of the housing law to the state Attorney General for litigation.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra will be filing the lawsuit against the City of Huntington Beach. It is the first legal action involving the state’s housing law.

In the complaint, the state will seek a court order requiring the City of Huntington Beach to amend its housing plan to allow the construction of more affordable homes.

Newsom says skyrocketing rents are “eroding quality of life”

In a statement, Newsom said, “The state doesn’t take this action lightly. The huge housing costs and sky-high rents are eroding quality of life for families across this state. California’s housing crisis is an existential threat to our state’s future and demands an urgent and comprehensive response.”

Additionally, Newsom stressed, “Cities and counties are important partners in addressing this housing crisis, and many cities are making herculean efforts to meet this crisis head on. But some cities are refusing to do their part to address this crisis and willfully stand in violation of California law. Those cities will be held to account.”