By Elizabeth Zach, staff writer

California cities and counties can continue to require builders to include affordable housing in new developments, the state’s Supreme Court ruled earlier this month.

In its unanimous ruling, the court said that “inclusionary housing” laws are the same as housing size and density regulations, and cited a “scarcity of affordable housing” of “epic proportions in many of the state’s localities.” The building industry had claimed that inclusionary housing laws are government overreach into private property.

More than 170 local governments already have affordable housing laws in place that require builders of 10 or more housing units to include at least 12 percent low- or moderate-income housing. The city of San Jose, however, expanded its law to cover larger developments, requiring 15 percent affordable housing in developments of 20 or more units.

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