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Most California cities may soon have low-income housing laws

Construction is big business in California, and one of the world’s largest economies relies on building to expand. As residential and commercial projects get even larger in a state affected by climate change and seismic activity, laws often expand to ensure safety for workers and residents alike.

Some social issues are also addressed by construction law, and the consequences for violating them are often severe for contractors and their employees. It is possible in a few weeks that most major cities in the Golden State will require low-income housing in many large residential projects.

Housing crises that disproportionately affect poor individuals and families led Los Angeles, San Francisco and several other West Coast cities to adopt guarantees for low-income housing. As a result, new residential complexes must include units for low-income families or face serious fines.

Developers are pushing back, however, against San Diego’s current drive to adopt a similar law. They view it as too aggressive against construction companies without resolving the problem at hand. “Avoid making the impact too high such as to restrict the amount of homes being built,” said one Southern California developer.

The city government is following Los Angeles’ lead in attempting to work together and hammer out a useful law. Some parties hope a solution will also reintegrate a community that has split in some ways along economic lines.

An attorney may be helpful to construction companies and contractors facing citations or fines over state and municipal laws. Legal counsel can help interpret relevant rules and defend against excessive fines and other punishments.