California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have allowed local governments to establish inclusionary housing requirements as a condition of developing new residential projects.
In his veto message, Brown questioned the effectiveness of such laws. “As mayor of Oakland, I saw how difficult it can be to attract development to low- and middle-income communities,” he wrote. “Requiring developers to include below-market in their projects can exacerbate these challenges, even while not meaningfully increasing the amount of affordable housing in a given community.”
Brown added that the California Supreme Court is considering when a city may insist on inclusionary housing. “I would like the benefit of the Supreme Court’s thinking before we make adjustments in this area,” he wrote.
Assembly Bill 1229 by Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) would have superseded a 2009 appellate court ruling in Palmer v. City of Los Angeles that the state’s rental control law prohibits such programs for rental housing.
At least 140 California cities and counties have some form of inclusionary housing policy. Many of these include a provision allowing the developer to pay a fee to the local government in lieu of actually offering low cost housing.