Judge halts construction in Beverly Hills over lack of affordable homes

The Beverly Hills suburb of northwest Los Angeles is noted for the affluent lifestyle of its 37,700 residents. This image shows Rodeo Drive shopping street (jjron/GFDL 1.2)
A court in California says the city of Beverly Hills must stop approving construction projects because it is not complying with a state law that requires it to offer affordable housing, ABC News reports.

The ruling by Judge Curtis Kin in the Los Angeles County Superior Court means that Beverly Hills can approve residential developments, but not residential renovations, commercial development, or any other construction projects.

The city said it would keep issuing construction permits while it appeals the decision.

Housing advocacy group Californians for Homeownership brought the case.

It accused the city of skirting state housing laws for years.

“California is in the midst of a housing crisis of historic proportions,” the group says.

“At the core of California’s affordable housing crisis is a failure to provide enough housing to meet demand. Today, California ranks 49th out of the 50 states in existing housing units per resident.”

The group told ABC News that Beverly Hills was two years late coming up with an affordable housing plan.

“We are optimistic that the penalties imposed by the court today will get the city on the right track toward adopting a compliant housing element in early 2024,” its statement said.

“The city knows what it needs to do; now it just needs to get it done.”

In a statement, the Beverly Hills city attorney said the city would continue to issue construction permits while it appeals the decision.

It said: “Our goal has always been and continues to be a certified housing element, as required by state law. The city has provided comprehensive information to California Housing and Community Development Department demonstrating our commitment to diverse housing options in Beverly Hills now and in the future.”

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