State law via the Housing Accountability Act (HAA) has a provision informally known as the 'builder's remedy' that provides that a local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project as defined within the Act, or condition it in a manner that renders it infeasible. The option for 'builder's remedy' only exists while the jurisdiction is not in compliance with State law (i.e. a housing element that is not certified by the State). The project proposed as the builder's remedy must meet certain criteria - such as the provision of housing for very-low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter. Such projects are subject to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
In order for a project to qualify for the builder's remedy, the development must be either 20% affordable to low-income categories, or 100-percent affordable to moderate income categories. Such projects are defined as residential units only; or mixed use developments with at least 2/3rds designed for residential use; or transitional or supportive housing.