Cities and Counties Could Face Fines Up to $600,000 Under Housing Plan

Cities that fail to meet state housing goals could face fines of up to $600,000 under a budget deal reached last week. The trailer bill would allow the state to sue local governments for anti-growth policies. It would give them a year’s time to help step up home building before the penalties are enforced, according to Curbed SF.

That’s the stick. The carrot is $1 billion in “pro-housing” incentives for cities that make it easier to build. The deal includes $275 million in homelessness prevention monies for the state’s largest cities and $175 million for counties. Another $190 million “would go to regional agencies known as ‘continuums of care,’ which coordinate services for homeless residents across the state,” per the Los Angeles Times.

“Cities can’t do it alone,” said the governor. “As a former mayor, I was always looking for state support, looking for more federal support. But this state is now stepping up and recognizing that we need to be part of that solution.”

Under the legislation, some homeless shelters would also be able to bypass elements of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Read more at the Sacramento Bee.