California Reaches Settlement with City of Fullerton Over Violations of Housing Law

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Under California housing law, every city and county in the state is required to regularly update its housing plan to meet its share of regional and statewide housing needs. The City of Fullerton failed to fulfill their legal duty and adopt a compliant housing plan. The state took aggressive action to enforce accountability and as a result, the City of Fullerton has now entered into an agreement, ensuring that they will accommodate their fair share of housing.

SACRAMENTO – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the City of Fullerton announced a settlement requiring the city to comply with state housing law. The city will adopt a plan to allow for the development of 13,209 housing units, of which 5,187 will be low- or very low-income.

“Fullerton has committed to stop litigating and start building. California is facing a housing crisis, and the status quo is simply unacceptable. More communities must step up and do the right thing by building their fair share of housing or be held accountable.”
Governor Gavin Newsom
Under the state’s Housing Element Law, every city and county in California is required to periodically update its housing plan to meet its share of regional and statewide housing needs. Fullerton failed to adopt a housing plan on time, and then took no action after it received a letter from HCD finding that its draft did not substantially comply with the Housing Element Law. HCD contacted and met with the city on several occasions and ultimately, due to the lack of compliance, referred the matter to the California Attorney General’s Office for enforcement.

“California’s Housing Element Law is an essential tool in our fight to equitably address our housing shortage, and local governments must follow the law and do their part,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I applaud the Fullerton City Council, and its planning and legal team, for recognizing that public resources should be directed at collaborating, rather than further litigating, our way out of California’s housing crisis. By working together, California can achieve our goal of ensuring that every city provides more affordable housing options to Californians in need.”

“The City of Fullerton is more than two years late in adopting a compliant housing element, but this settlement lays out a clear path to compliance with milestones, as well as consequences if they fail to meet those commitments,” said HCD Director Gustavo Velasquez. “HCD takes enforcement of our state housing laws seriously. We are committed to helping Fullerton and cities and counties across the state adopt and implement pro-housing policies, and we are focused on ensuring we each do our part to address the housing needs of Californians at all income levels.”

As a result of this settlement, the city will now adopt a compliant housing element no later than November 5, 2024, and modernize its zoning code by December 29, 2024, to accommodate thousands of affordable homes. Today’s settlement also resolves separate but related claims filed by Californians for Homeownership, Inc.


  • Fullerton will adopt a compliant housing element by no later than November 5, 2024.
  • Fullerton must modernize its zoning code by December 29, 2024.
  • Fullerton agrees to comply with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing statute (AFFH) to foster a more inclusive community.
  • Fullerton acknowledges that, until the time it adopts a substantially compliant housing element, it will not deny housing projects on the basis of zoning or general plan inconsistencies.

If Fullerton fails to abide by the settlement and does not cure its default, it may lose its authority to approve or deny certain types of developments.For additional details regarding this agreement click here.