‘Gimme Shelter’: How California’s top cop enforces housing laws

A man in a suit and tie speaks at a microphone
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, flanked by his legal team, at a press conference in Playa Del Rey in April.
(Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)

In February, hours after California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta sent the small Silicon Valley enclave of Woodside a letter saying that its plan to declare itself a mountain lion habitat to evade state housing law was unconstitutional, the town backed down.

Bonta’s letter was a small but representative example of a more aggressive approach the attorney general’s office has taken on housing matters since Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Bonta to the role in spring 2021. Last fall, Bonta created a special division to investigate housing issues from local approval of development projects to landlord and tenant disputes.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we speak with Bonta about his stances on housing and how his office continues to pursue housing cases.


Gimme Shelter,” a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Manuela Tobías, housing reporter for CalMatters.

You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Podcasts.