Groundbreaking Court Win for Housing Reform Legislation

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Bay Area Council member Holland and Knight has secured an important legal victory in a case over housing reform legislation the Council sponsored known as the Builder’s Remedy. The legislation prohibits local jurisdictions from rejecting new housing proposals when a city or county has failed to adopt a housing element compliant with state law. Housing elements are the plans cities must submit to the state showing how they will meet their requirement to provide sufficient housing.

The Council sponsored the Builder’s Remedy legislation along with other laws to hold cities and counties accountable for meeting their housing requirements. Without strong accountability and enforcement mechanisms, many local jurisdictions have flouted their housing obligations. The case stemmed from a project in La Canada Flintridge in Southern California in which the city, which didn’t have a compliant housing element, rejected a Builder’s Remedy mixed-use housing project that included 80 units, including 16 designated as low income. Holland and Knight represented the builder in a lawsuit challenging the city’s decision. The court sided with the builder, affirming the use of the Builder’s Remedy. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Vice President Louis Mirante.

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