Newsom Sues Huntington Beach Over Housing

By George Khoury, Esq. on January 29, 2019 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A recent lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General against the city of Huntington Beach is sparking questions over whether the Orange County beach city is part of the housing crisis currently plaguing the state.

The lawsuit alleges that the city has failed to meet the state mandated requirements for affordable housing. The city was put on notice in 2015, and despite it claiming to have been working with the state on revising its plan, no actions had been taken.

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The city might not seem be too concerned about the legal challenge from the state because, as The Sacramento Bee noted, the city has already defeated a similar lawsuit brought by an advocacy group, and the California Supreme Court refused to take the matter up on appeal.

The city's lawyer explained that the lawsuit will only exacerbate the disagreement between the city and state, and that the ongoing negotiations are now off the table due to the litigation.

Unfortunately for Huntington Beach, the state has to start somewhere as many cities are out of compliance with the state law requiring cities to have affordable housing, including other rather affluent cities, like Pismo Beach, which might be next on the state's list. Governor Newsom basically said as much during a recent interview, when he claimed that those cities that are out of compliance "will be held accountable."

Governor Newsom has also proposed providing better economic incentives for developers to create affordable units, as well as transferring enforcement power of the state's housing department.

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