Lynwood Families Fight to Preserve Affordable Homes
When the City of Lynwood approved the demolition of a mobile home park, eight families from the park approached Public Counsel with a plea to help save their homes and enable them to stay in the city where many of them worked and their children attended school.
On behalf of these eight families and all other low-income residents of Lynwood, Public Counsel's Community Development Project (CDP) engaged in a two-year legal battle with the Lynwood Redevelopment Agency. CDP, together with its partners O'Melveny & Myers LLP, the California Affordable Housing Law Project, the Law Offices of Rebecca Thornton, and later joined by lead trial counsel Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, sued to enforce state housing laws that require the Redevelopment Agency to use a portion of its public funding to develop and maintain affordable housing.
After exhaustive discovery and extensive motion practice, we reached a settlement for our clients in the proverbial eleventh-hour before trial. The settlement commits the Lynwood Redevelopment Agency to construct a minimum of 91 units of affordable housing by 2015, to redeposit certain moneys into its affordable housing fund, and to pay in full all relocation assistance owed to our clients and to other previously displaced residents. The settlement also contains other safeguards against future affordable housing violations.
This commitment, which is confirmed by court order, will benefit over 100 lower-income families and represents a major victory in the struggle to ensure cities proactively comply with their affordable housing obligations and contribute to the regional supply of affordable housing. Public Counsel's Community Development Project will continue to work with the City of Lynwood on implementing this commitment.