An SHA alert to the State of CA about the unlawful denial of an affordable housing proposal by the City of Elk Grove led to Attorney General Rob Bonta warning the City yesterday: “we will not stand idly by in the face of housing discrimination.”

Yesterday, March 16th, California Attorney General Rob Bonta put the City of Elk Grove on notice that its denial of a proposed supportive housing development in the City’s Old Town Special Planning Area (OTSPA) violates state laws including Senate Bill 35 (SB 35), the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), and fair housing laws intended to prohibit discriminatory land use practices.

The City improperly denied approval for the Oak Rose Apartments that would have created 66 units of critically needed permanent supportive housing. According to SHA President Cathy Creswell, “This development would have provided homes with important services to help unhoused individuals get off the street and into a stable and supportive environment.”  Instead, the City violated several State housing laws and delayed the development of much needed affordable homes.

Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA) had notified the State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) about the inappropriate denial of Oak Rose Apartments. HCD’s Housing Accountability and Enforcement Unit opened up an investigation and sent a Notice of Violation on October 12, 2022. The City responded denying any wrong doing. However, the Attorney General’s announcement yesterday disputes that claim. “Confronting and addressing our state’s housing crisis requires all of us – including local governments – working together to increase affordable housing opportunities for those who need it most,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Too many Californians across this state worry about keeping a roof over their heads or lack housing altogether. State housing laws are in place to provide all Californians, regardless of income level, the opportunity to access affordable housing and have a place to call home. We’re committed to enforcing the law, and we will not stand idly by in the face of housing discrimination. I urge Elk Grove to reconsider its unlawful denial of the Oak Rose Apartment project or face the legal consequences.”

SHA supports the State’s efforts to enforce affordable housing laws to ensure the affordable housing so desperately needed in our communities can be built. As noted by Interim Executive Director Rachel Iskow “We will continue to advocate for the adoption AND implementation of effective housing elements and housing strategies that will truly serve the needs of our region and our most vulnerable populations.”

To read the full letter from Attorney General Rob Bonta to the Mayor of the City of Elk Grove, click HERE