Is Environmental Law to Blame for California’s Housing Crisis?
West Coast Land Use and Environmental Attorney Jennifer Hernandez was quoted by Capital & Main on a discussion of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and its impediment to the construction of affordable housing. Developers and trade unions believe that the law was written too broadly that neighborhood groups and certain unions have used it to start litigation to slow or stop necessary projects. On the other hand, California environmentalists believe that the CEQA does not stop the destruction of the state's natural resources and endangers its most vulnerable residents.
Ms. Hernandez believes that both CEQA reformers and low-income housing activists should be on the same side as her study concluded that 100 percent of Bay Area CEQA lawsuits and 98 percent of Los Angeles CEQA suites targeted "infill" development in existing communities.
"CEQA is tremendous, but it has been used as a tool to stop any project at any time," said Ms. Hernandez.