In a major step forward for equitable urban redevelopment, the California Supreme Court decided unanimously on June 15, 2015 that cities and counties may require developers to provide below-market-rate housing as a condition of a building permit.
The decision is expected to make it easier for Los Angeles and other cities with housing shortages to force developers to build or pay for affordable housing.
“There is no reason why a municipality may not … [require] new developments to set aside a percentage of its proposed units for sale at a price that is affordable to moderate or low income households,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye wrote for the court.
California has a housing shortage, with demand exceeding supply. To ensure cities and counties remain affordable, scores of local governments have passed ordinances requiring developers to provide below-market-rate residences.