November 7, 2018 – In yesterday’s midterm elections, several cities and states had measures on their ballots that will finance affordable housing programs. These measure passed with resounding approval!
Austin, Texas – A $250 million affordable housing bond received nearly 73% approval from Austin residents. This new bond will funnel $100 million into land acquisition for affordable housing developments, $98 million into rental housing development assistance, $28 million into a homeownership programs and $28 million into home repairs and rehabilitation.
Oregon – Oregon voters approved a measure that faced no organized opposition and even had the support of vocal opponents of an affordable housing bond being put before Portland area voters. This measure will allow local governments the flexibility to use bond dollars to partially fund affordable housing projects.
Portland, Oregon – Voters approved a $652.8 million bond measure to build as many as 3,900 homes that will be affordable for low-income residents (making 80% or less of the region’s median income.)
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – A $10 million bond was overwhelmingly (70%) approved that could help build and preserve more than 700 affordable homes and apartments.
California – 2 propositions that affect affordable housing in the state were approved by voters. The first will raise $4 billion to fund existing affordable housing programs for low-income people, veterans and farmworkers. Another measure approved $2 billion in funding to go towards building housing for the chronically homeless and people with disabilities or mental illness. This is especially meaningful based upon the studies that estimate the homeless population in California rose by 14% since 2016.
Berkeley, California – A $135 million bond measure was passed, with 75% percent of the vote, that will create more affordable housing in the city where the median rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is averaging $2,580 (the lowest in the San Francisco metro area.)
San Jose, California – $450 million was authorized by voters that will help break ground on at least 9,000 affordable housing units.
Broward County, Florida – 72% of voters approved the creation of a trust fund that must be used exclusively on housing projects and programs.