San Jose: Lawsuit challenges city housing policy

Two struggling renters and a pair of advocacy groups joined in filing a lawsuit Thursday against San Jose claiming a recent city land-use policy violates a state affordable-housing law.

News Story (California)

Ramona Giwargis
Mercury News (San Jose, CA)
July 25, 2016

Tags: Housing: Discrimination

Organizations mentioned/involved: Bay Area Legal Aid (San Francisco)


The lawsuit alleges that a city policy adopted in April violates California’s Surplus Land Act, which requires cities to prioritize public land for affordable housing that they sell or lease.

“The outcome of San Jose’s illegal policy is it will predictably cause a reduction in the availability of affordable housing throughout San Jose,” said Cristina Pena, an attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid, one of several law organizations representing the plaintiffs.

The City Council adopted the policy allowing San Jose a handful of exceptions from building affordable housing on city-owned land, including downtown properties that may be used for high-rise development for the next five years.