Lawsuit Demands L.A. Eliminate ‘Pocket Veto’ That Lets Lawmakers Quietly Block Affordable Housing

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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez declined to provide a required letter for a proposed project to house homeless people on this vacant lot on Sheldon Street in Sun Valley, seen here in an undated photo. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez declined to provide a required letter for a proposed project to house homeless people on this vacant lot on Sheldon Street in Sun Valley, seen here in an undated photo. (Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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In Los Angeles, local lawmakers can quietly block affordable and homeless housing in their districts by withholding a required letter.

Now, a community group is going to court to demand the city eliminate that “pocket veto.”

The lawsuit, filed Thursday by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, denounces the requirement as “an illegal, unnecessary, arbitrary, and discriminatory barrier to the construction of affordable and supportive housing.” It calls for a court order forcing the city to abandon it.

Under city regulations, housing developers seeking funding for affordable or homeless housing projects must get a “letter of acknowledgment” from the council member who represents the area where they want to build.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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