Housing on the Ballot

Housing on the Ballot

Last week, voters across the country casted their ballots in the 2018 midterm elections. While much of the national focus was on Congressional and State-wide races, many Americans voted in favor of ballot initiatives addressing the affordable housing crisis. Is it time for housing to be on the ballot in Iowa?

Here are some notable results from the 2018 midterm election:

California

Statewide – Prop 2: No Place Like Home

  • California voters authorized $2 billion in previously appropriated funding to be dedicated to the construction of affordable housing. This funding will help those that are experiencing chronic homelessness, people with disabilities, and people with mental illnesses.

East Palo Alto, CA – Measure HH

  • In East Palo Alto, voters passed a parcel tax on commercial office space over 25,000 square feet in order to raise an estimated $1.675 million for STEM job training opportunities and the construction of new affordable housing.

San Francisco, CA – City and County Measure C

  • San Francisco residents voted to address their affordable housing crisis by adding a gross receipts tax on businesses making over $50 million, raising an estimated $300 million per year in dedicated funds for affordable housing, services for the chronically homeless, and legal assistance programs.

Santa Cruz, CA – Measure M

  • Santa Cruz residents voted in favor of a rent control measure that will require relocation assistance for tenants evicted without just cause and limit rent increases in apartments built before 1995.

Oregon

Statewide – Measure 102

  • Oregon residents narrowly voted to amend the state constitution to allow counties, cities and towns to use bond revenue to fund affordable housing construction.

Portland, OR – Metro Affordable Housing Bond: Measure 26-199

  • This measure allocates $652.8 million to the construction, acquisition, and renovation of affordable housing for approximately 7,500 to 12,000 people making 80 percent or less of area median income in the greater Portland region.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Housing Bond Referendum

  • The city of Charlotte voted to increase the city’s affordable housing trust fund by $35 million, from $15 million to $50 million.

Austin, Texas

City Council Prop A

  • Voters in Austin, TX approved the allocation of $200-300 million for affordable rental housing, homeownership programs, home reparis and acquiring land for future use.

San Juan County, Washington

Prop 1: Additional Real Estate Excise Tax for Affordable Housing

  • In order to develop and preserve affordable rental and homeownership programs, San Juan voters approved a tax that will collect 0.5% of the selling price for county owned real estate.

These results were gathered by the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s “Our Homes, Our Votes” campaign. For more information on ballot initiatives in the 2018 election, click here.