Capitol Alert: Jerry Brown vetoes inclusionary housing bill

dsiders@sacbee.comOctober 13, 2013 

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation Sunday that would have authorized cities and counties to establish inclusionary housing requirements as a condition of development, allowing them to force developers to set aside units for low-income residents.

Assembly Bill 1229, by Assemblyman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, would have effectively overturned a 2009 ruling by the 2nd District Court of Appeal that an affordable housing requirement in Los Angeles conflicted with state law that limited local rent control ordinances. The court ruling left inclusionary housing policies statewide in doubt.

In his veto message, the Democratic governor recalled his experience as mayor of Oakland and questioned the effectiveness of inclusionary housing policies.

"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 units in their projects can exacerbate these challenges, even while not meaningfully increasing the amount of affordable housing in a given community."

He said the California Supreme Court is currently weighing whether cities may require inclusionary housing in new developments and that "I would like the benefit of the Supreme Court's thinking before we make adjustments in this area."

The bill was backed by low-income housing advocates and the League of California Cities. It was opposed by the California Building Industry Association and apartment associations.

Proponents of the legislation said inclusionary housing policies are necessary to make homes affordable for poor people and to create diverse neighborhoods. Opponents said the bill is a form of rent control that would hurt the construction industry.

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