State Sues Elk Grove Over Housing

California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a lawsuit Monday against the City of Elk Grove for its decision to deny a proposed housing project.

In April 2022, the City Council unanimously rejected an application for the proposed Oak Rose Apartments, which would have created 66 low-income housing units for people at risk of homelessness. The project, slated for the city's Old Town Special Planning Area, violated zoning rules by placing residential units on the ground floor, the city said.

But the state found Elk Grove had approved projects with ground-floor residences before. Oak Rose was denied approval "based on discretionary exercise and not an 'objective standard,’” state officials argue. 

The lawsuit accuses the city of violating the Housing Accountability Act. It seeks to force Elk Grove to reverse course and greenlight the project. 

“Our state is in a housing crisis and local governments must do their part to allow for affordable housing options for all members of our communities, regardless of their income level,” Bonta said in a statement. “Everyone deserves to have a place to call home. California has critically important laws designed to combat housing discrimination and increase affordable housing opportunities. Today’s lawsuit against Elk Grove sends a strong message to local governments: if you violate fair housing laws, we will hold you to account.”

The lawsuit follows similar legal action taken by the state against Huntington Beach.