HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — In an unprecedented move, Gov. Gavin Newsom says the state is taking legal action against an Orange County city that is refusing to comply with state housing laws and exacerbating the housing crisis.

The City of Huntington Beach is standing the way of affordable housing production and refusing to meet regional housing needs, driving up costs for all Californians, according to a statement released from the governor’s office.

“The state doesn’t take this action lightly,” Newsom said in the statement. “The huge housing costs and sky-high rents are eroding quality of life for families across this state. California’s housing crisis is an existential threat to our state’s future and demands an urgent and comprehensive response.”

California cities and counties are required to draft and adopt housing plans that meet the needs of the broader region and economy that must include zoning that encourages development of affordable housing. Huntington Beach’s housing plan was found to be out of compliance with state law in 2015. The lawsuit is the first allowed under AB 72, which allows the state to take legal action against cities or counties that do not have compliant housing plans.

Newsom said that many cities are making “herculean efforts” to meet the housing crisis head on.

“But some cities are refusing to do their part to address this crisis and willfully stand in violation of California law,” he said in the statement. “Those cities will be held to account.”

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