Attorney General Bonta’s Sponsored Bill to Automatically Intervene In Housing Enforcement Lawsuits Signed by Governor Newsom

Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a statement in response to Assembly Bill 1485 (AB 1485), a bill that he sponsored, being signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. Effective January 1, 2024, AB 1485 will permit the Attorney General to automatically intervene without court permission in lawsuits brought by third parties for alleged violations of state housing laws. Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) authored the legislation, and Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was the principal coauthor.

“When it comes to addressing our housing crisis, there’s not a moment to waste. Time is of the essence,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “AB 1485 recognizes that urgency. It will allow my office to represent the state’s interests more easily in lawsuits filed by third parties to enforce our housing laws. I am grateful to Assemblymember Haney and Senator Wiener for AB 1485.”

“The housing crisis is only getting worse as anti-housing local governments are brazenly breaking the law and stopping new housing developments from being built,” said Assemblymember Matt Haney. “We need every tool available to hold these local governments accountable when they break the law.”

“State officials can no longer turn a blind eye to obstructionist local governments attempting to block progress on California’s housing crisis,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “Progress depends on accountability, and with the strong leadership of Attorney General Bonta, we’re about to make a lot of progress to address the housing crisis.” 

At present, third parties, such as housing advocacy organizations and housing developers, are generally allowed to take legal action against cities or counties that violate state housing laws. The office of the Attorney General can only become involved in the third party’s litigation by filing a motion to intervene and asking the court for permission to represent the state’s interests. Courts can take months to decide whether to grant such a request. 

The office of the Attorney General will no longer have to ask courts for permission to become involved in those lawsuits filed by third parties. Instead, pursuant to AB 1485, the office of the Attorney General will have “the unconditional right to intervene” whether intervening in an independent capacity or due to a referral from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The text of the legislation can be found here.

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