What Real Estate Attorneys Need to Know About the Use of the “Builder’s Remedy”



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Original Air Date:
June 10, 2024
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About the Program

The subject of creating affordable housing in California is constantly in the news but we do not seem to be making great progress in the state’s urban areas.

There are many reasons – political, economic, social — which come into play. For example, how do we incentivize developers to tackle projects which include (or totally consist of) low or very low income residential units? How do we convince local communities to accept housing components which they otherwise might reject on “NIMBY” (not in my backyard) grounds? What controls does the state possess to compel cities and counties to assure that their housing element plans comport with affordability needs?

This is where the Housing Accountability Act and its “Builder’s Remedy” feature have emerged as an instrument to change the legal landscape, becoming a very hot topic for real estate lawyers, developers, urban planners and local government leaders. Our speakers will describe the history of the Builder’s Remedy, its uses to date (including projects which they are personally working on) and what they see as its short-term and long-term impacts.
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Meet the Speakers
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Aaron Belliston


President BMR Enterprises

Aaron Belliston is the President of BMR Enterprises (“BMR”), which is a vertically integrated real estate development company with brokers and builders in house. BMR is active in the multifamily, retail, office, light industrial and special purpose sections of real estate. BMR engages in new construction, remodels and building tenant improvements. He has utilized the threat of the Builder Remedy in negotiating compromises with local municipalities such as increased density for residential projects.

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Leo Pustilnikov


Founder SLH Investments

Leo Pustilnikov is an investor in and developer of real property, identifying what he believes are areas of arbitrage within real estate and resolving special situations in real estate. He founded SLH Investments which, in partnership with another developer, acquired the Sears Building in Boyle Heights, the Alexandria Hotel in downtown Los Angeles (for a 463-unit low income housing project) and the Rialto Theater in South Pasadena.

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Matt Gelfand


Attorney Californians for Homeownership

Matt Gelfand is an attorney and serves as the in-house litigator for Californians for Homeownership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by the California Association of REALTORS*. Californians for Homeownership uses impact litigation to address California’s housing crises, including by litigating against cities and counties that fail to comply with state housing laws. Before leaving to help build the organization, Matt was a litigator in private practice. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and an undergraduate degree in Neuroscience from Brown University. He has appeared before city councils and other governmental bodies as well as in court litigation where at least one issue was the applicability of the “Builder’s Remedy.”

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