“Gov. Gavin Newsom used a new law for the first time Friday to try to force a wealthy Southern California coastal city to end its years of opposition to meeting low-income housing goals.
Newsom’s administration sued the Orange County city of Huntington Beach under the law that took effect Jan. 1 after passing in a 2017 package of measures intended to alleviate the state’s severe housing shortage and homelessness problem.
California has more homeless people than any other state and the nation’s highest poverty rate when soaring housing and rental costs are taken into account. Newsom, who took office this month, has proposed building 3.5 million housing units in the state with nearly 40 million residents.
The lawsuit says leaders in Huntington Beach, home to about 200,000 people, have repeatedly refused to amend the city’s housing plan to add state-required low-income housing and are fighting a separate lawsuit by housing advocates. The city says it’s complying with state housing and zoning laws. …
Newsom said high housing costs and rents “are eroding quality of life for families across this state.” He said the problem is “an existential threat to our state’s future and demands an urgent and comprehensive response.”
He has promised several moves to increase affordable housing, including giving cities more money for housing shelters but taking away transportation money if they fail to meet their goals. The Democratic governor’s budget proposal seeks $1.75 billion to combat homelessness by encouraging new affordable housing.”