Affordable Housing Wins On Tuesday

Affordable Housing Finance's Christine Serlin says that while Republicans held the majority in the Senate and Democrats took the House during the mid-term elections, one big winner for both parties at the polls was affordable housing. From propositions to bond measures on the state and local levels, voters said yes to addressing the affordability crisis.
"Yesterday's landmark elections included several big ballot wins that will help make homes more affordable. In states, counties, and local communities, impacted voters chose to make the American home a priority," says Ali Solis, president and CEO of Make Room, a nonprofit organization working to end the national rental housing crisis. "We hope that policy leaders at all levels of government will take notice and join our efforts to make all homes affordable."
With sky-high housing costs one of the California’s biggest issues, state voters passed two propositions to fund needed housing programs for low-income and homeless individuals and families.
Fifty-four percent of the voters supported Proposition 1, a $4 billion bond measure to support various housing programs, including approximately $1.8 million to build or renovate rental housing projects. About $1 billion would go to home loan assistance to veterans and $300 million in loans and grants to build housing for farmworkers.
Approximately a third of the units are targeted for the pricey San Francisco Bay Area, where it won 73% of the vote.
Proposition 2 was another winner, garnering 61% of the vote. This measure calls for creating housing for homeless people with several mental illness. It allows the state to use up to $140 million per year of county mental health funds to repay up to $2 billion in bonds that would fund housing for those with mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
Supporters say Prop 2 will help build 20,000 permanent supportive housing units under the state’s “No Place Like Home” program.

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