U.S. Supreme Court lets San Jose affordable housing law stand

Law attempts to alleviate Silicon Valley’s high housing costs.

March 04, 2016 |
U.S. Supreme Court lets San Jose affordable housing law stand

Photo: the_tahoe_guy/Creative Commons.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a legal challenge to a San Jose affordable housing law brought by the housing industry.

The law requires housing developers to include below-market priced units for low-income buyers on any new housing projects in the city. In its appeal, the industry argued that the law violates federal constitutional protections against the taking of private property. 

The California Supreme Court, in June upheld the law, and this decision now stands. In the written decision, one state justice said, "These [affordable housing] problems have become more and more severe and have reached what may be described as epic proportions in many of the state's localities."

The League of California Cities and California State Association of Counties says that about 170 local governments have put versions of the law in place. Developers argued that such laws will force them to pass along the cost of subsidizing below-market units to new homebuyers.

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