If approved, City of Anaheim will be required to dedicate over $123 million to fund the construction of affordable housing citywide on an expedited timeline
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today urged the Anaheim City Council to approve a proposed stipulated judgment resolving allegations that the City violated the Surplus Land Act in its sale of land on and around Angel Stadium. If the proposed judgment is approved, Anaheim will be required to deposit approximately $96 million in a local housing trust fund for the construction of new affordable housing to be used in the next five years. Anaheim will also commit an additional $27 million for the construction of up to 466 rental units on-site for very low- and low-income households. The proposed stipulated judgment, reached in coordination with the City of Anaheim, is part of ongoing efforts by the California Department of Justice's Housing Strike Force and the California Department of Housing and Community Development's (HCD) Housing Accountability Unit to address California's housing crisis.
“As families struggle with the rising cost of housing, DOJ's Housing Strike Force is partnering with HCD's Housing Accountability Unit to enforce state housing laws and promote housing access and affordability,” said Attorney General Bonta. “California is facing a housing crisis of epic proportions and it's going to take all of us, working together, to solve it. This proposed judgment shows what a successful partnership can look like – and how state and local governments can work together to promote affordable housing in a community. I call on the City Council to approve the proposed judgment, which would dedicate more than $123 million to fund the construction of affordable housing on an expedited timeline and could result in more than 1,000 new affordable homes. This is a win for the community and a win for the state.”
“It is our hope that the Anaheim City Council embraces the opportunity to address the Notice of Violation and approve the proposed stipulated judgment,” said Housing and Community Development Director Gustavo Velasquez. “We have worked diligently with the Attorney General and the Housing Strikeforce to find a path forward that provides for new affordable housing in the next five years, facilitates affordable homes on the Angel Stadium site itself, and creates transparency for the public.”
“We welcome this proposed agreement with our state partners,” said Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu. “It would move our stadium plan forward and bring with it the largest investment in affordable housing in our city’s history. On behalf of Anaheim, I extend our city’s appreciation to California for working with us to find a path forward. I welcome the opportunity to consider this agreement with my City Council colleagues.”
The Surplus Land Act was enacted to promote affordable housing development on unused or underutilized public land throughout the state. As amended by Assembly Bill 1486 (Ting) in 2019, a local agency must declare land it owns that is suitable for housing development to be either “surplus land” or “exempt surplus land” before its sale. The agency must then notify affordable housing developers of the availability and engage in good faith negotiations for at least 90 days with those who express interest in developing affordable housing on that land.
On December 8, 2021, HCD issued a Notice of Violation finding that the City violated the noticing requirements of the Surplus Land Act following the City's sale of Angel Stadium and surrounding lands to a management company created and owned by the owner of the Angels baseball franchise. Today's proposed stipulated judgment, if approved by the City Council and the court, will resolve the Notice of Violation and require Anaheim to invest approximately $123 to construct new housing in the city.
Specifically, the City of Anaheim will be required to:
Last year, Attorney General Bonta announced the creation of a Housing Strike Force within the California Department of Justice. Today's announcement builds on the Housing Strike Force’s ongoing efforts to enforce and defend state housing laws in order to support California families struggling to afford housing. In recent months, the Housing Strike Force sent letters notifying Woodside and Pasadena of violations of Senate Bill 9, which allows homeowners to build up to four residential units on a single-family lot. The Housing Strike Force also warned Encinitas of violations of state housing laws relating to its rejection of a proposed mixed use development project. Most recently, the Housing Strike Force sent warning letters to 91 law firms across the state that represent landlords in eviction cases after being notified that some firms and their clients may have violated the law.
A copy of the proposed judgment, which is subject to City Council and court approval, can be found here.