Judge halts home upgrades in Beverly Hills over city's lack of affordable housing

Rob Hayes Image
Friday, January 19, 2024
Judge bars Beverly Hills home upgrades over lack of affordable housing
A judge halted Beverly Hills from issuing several building permits for the city's alleged failure to approve an acceptable affordable housing plan.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A Los Angeles County Superior Court ruling has found that the city of Beverly Hills cannot issue new construction permits because it is not following state laws requiring it to plan for affordable housing.

Judge Curtis Kin's ruling still allows Beverly Hills to move forward with any new residential developments, but prohibits the city from issuing permits for residential renovations, commercial developments or any other construction projects.

The affordable housing advocate group Californians for Homeownership filed suit against Beverly Hills last year, accusing the city of skirting state housing laws for years.

For more than 50 years, California law requires cities to have a compliant affordable housing plan that spells out where housing for people at various income levels will be developed.

In a written statement, a representative for Californians for Homeownership said Beverly Hills is two years late coming up with an acceptable 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. The City knows what it needs to do; now it just needs to get it done," the statement said.

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

"Our goal has always been and continues to be a certified housing element, as required by state law," the statement said. "The City has provided comprehensive information to HCD (California Housing and Community Development Department) demonstrating our commitment to diverse housing options in Beverly Hills now and in the future."