There are only seven weeks—or 50 days—left before voters go to the polls on November 6th. With concerns about the state of the housing market in California reaching a peak level, we are not surprised that several wide-reaching State housing-related ballot measures will appear on the ballot.
We know we face a housing crisis, with rents and purchase prices out of reach for the majority of those who live and work here. Action is needed. You can help by using your voice and vote in November.
Following is a description of the key State housing measures that will appear on the ballot, along with SV@Home’s recommendations.
SV@Home Supports Proposition 1—the Veterans and Affordable Housing Act.
Proposition 1 (Veterans and Affordable Housing Act) would enable the State to issue $4 billion in general obligation bonds to create and preserve affordable homes for veterans, working families, people with disabilities, and others struggling to find a safe place to call home. Of the total, $1 billion will be available to help veteran’s purchase a home through CalVet.
SV@Home strongly supports Proposition 1. The State must be a part of the housing solution. Yet, at present, it has very few funds available to help local governments meet their regional housing needs. Voters approved Proposition 1C in 2006, but those funds are all but gone. The new funds that were approved during the 2016 legislative session are a good start, but are only expected to bring $10 million annually to San Jose.
SV@Home Supports Proposition 2—No Place Like Home.
Proposition 2 (No Place Like Home) will help individuals suffering from mental illness who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by authorizing the use of $2 billion in bond funds to build permanent, supportive housing with on-site mental health services. These are not new funds, but rather existing funds already approved by the State’s voters.
SV@Home strongly supports Proposition 2. Housing is critical to the success of those facing mental illness. Providing services alone is not enough. Proposition 2 would direct funds to building new homes, providing safe, stable, and affordable homes.
SV@Home Opposes Proposition 6—Repeal the Gas Tax.
Proposition 6 would invalidate the gas tax increases approved by the Legislature last year. If approved, funding for more than 6,500 bridge and road safety, transportation, and public transit improvement projects currently underway throughout California would be eliminated. With stalled projects, thousands of jobs would be lost, hurting California’s economy.
SV@Home strongly opposes Proposition 6. Transportation and housing are two sides of the same coin. In Santa Clara County, the funds from the gas tax are supporting the extension of BART to San Jose’s Downtown and to Santa Clara, and the expansion of light rail and CalTrain service. As we add new residents, we need to add both new homes and transportation that helps move people from homes to jobs.
SV@Home did not take formal positions on two other ballot measures that will appear on the November ballot and that directly impact housing.
Proposition 5—Property Tax Transfer Initiative—Proposition 5 would alter Proposition 13 to allow anyone over the age of 55 to sell their home, purchase another home, and carry over their current property tax rate. Supporters of the measure state that seniors are restricting the availability of single-family homes for young families by holding on to their large homes to avoid the increased property taxes they would face if they moved. Opponents of the measure believe that the provisions are too generous, allowing seniors to buy more expensive homes and pay less in property taxes than younger buyers and placing no limit on the number of times property tax rates can be transferred, and that it will harm jurisdictions because it will lower the amount of property tax collected.
SV@Home did not take a formal position on Proposition 5. It is important to note that Santa Clara County is one of the few counties in the State where residents over the age of 55 already have the ability to sell their home, purchase a new home, and carry the property tax rate. However, this benefit can only accrue once and is only applicable when the home purchased is of lower value than the home sold.
Proposition 10—Affordable Housing Act—Proposition 10 would overturn the State’s Costa Hawkins law, which limits the scope of rent control ordinances in California. If approved, local governments throughout the State would be free to adopt measures that regulate how much landlords can charge tenants as long as the new rules do not abridge the “landlord’s right to a fair rate of return on a property.”
Supporters say that Proposition 10 will provide housing stability, protect families from skyrocketing rents, and make California more affordable for all. Opponents say that Proposition 10 will hurt current and future landlords, abridge property rights, and empower government bureaucracies.
For more information about other housing-related measures on the November ballot, check out our previous summary of key measures and propositions.