Lawsuit against Elk Grove cited in Attorney General Bonta's announcement marking second anniversary of 'Housing Justice Team'

On Friday, November 3. California Attorney General Rob Bonta marked the second anniversary of his Housing Justice Team within the California Department of Justice.

"Two years ago today, I launched the Housing Justice Team to advance housing access, affordability, and equity in California. Since then, our talented attorneys have delivered real results," Bonta said. "From protecting renters from unlawful evictions to ensuring that local governments allow for the building of their fair share of housing, I am immensely proud of what the Housing Justice Team has accomplished already. Tackling California's housing crisis remains a top priority - and with the work of the past two years, we are just getting started."

Among the success stories of the Housing Justice Team cited by Bonta were fair housing settlements with the cities of Corando and San Bernardino. Bonta also mentioned settlements with private-sector landlords in tenant rights cases. 

Additionally, lawsuits against Elk Grove and Huntington Beach were mentioned by Bonta. The announcement noted the initiation of "a lawsuit against the City of Elk Grove over its failure to approve a housing proposal that would create 66 apartments for lower-income households at risk of homelessness."

Following a flourish of activity in recent Elk Grove City Council meetings, the city has not made any recent public announcements on the lawsuit's status. Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen has suggested the city is working with the Excelerate Housing Group, the Long Beach, Calif.-based developer of the Oak Rose affordable housing project.

Notably, Elk Grove was sued by Bonta for violation of fair housing laws following their July 2022 rejection of the proposed 66-unit apartment complex in Old Town Elk Grove. Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen has said the city is trying to find another location outside the Old Town Special Planning area. 

If Elk Grove and Excelerate were to reach a settlement on another location for the project, it is not clear if that would result in the dismissal of Bonta's lawsuit against the city. A discussion of the Oak Rose lawsuit is on the closed-session agenda of this week's Elk Grove City Council meeting.  

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