Gov. Gavin Newsom talked tough on housing in his Jan. 7 inaugural address. Three days later, in his 2019-20 budget proposal, he warned municipalities that he was considering withholding gas tax funding if they fail to meet their required housing targets. While he has yet to make good on that particular threat, he clearly showed his resolve in his announcement Friday that he would "hold cities accountable for standing in the way of new housing."1
The state sued the Orange County city of Huntington Beach on Friday to force it to plan for more affordable housing, part of a campaign by Gov. Gavin Newsom to boost construction in California as residents grapple with soaring housing costs.
Newsom said Huntington Beach has refused to meet a state mandate to provide new housing for low-income people. He promised that cities that do not do their part will be “held to account.”
“The time for empty promises has come to an end,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote in the complaint, which was filed in Orange County Superior Court. California is seeking an order that would compel Huntington Beach to set aside additional sites for low-income housing.
The lawsuit was the first to be filed under a 2017 law, AB72, that authorized state housing officials to report cities and counties to the attorney general for legal action if they do not adequately plan for housing construction.
The action sends a stark message to communities like Huntington Beach that have not followed a state requirement to adopt a blueprint every five to eight years demonstrating how they will plan for regional housing needs for people across all income levels.