April 25, 2024

Big News! Regional Board Votes to Put Housing Bond on the Ballot in November


Last week, The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Executive Board voted unanimously and enthusiastically to put an affordable housing bond on the November 2024 ballot in the Bay Area. This was a critical moment for our movement and the Bay Area Housing for All (BAHA) initiative, moving us closer to final ballot language approval this summer.

This initiative has been a multi-year process, which will see the Bay Area Housing Finance Agency (BAHFA) sponsor the $10 to $20 billion ballot measure in all nine Bay Area counties. Locally, Santa Clara County will receive up to $2.2 billion, and the City of San Jose will receive a separate allocation of over $2 billion. This is critical to continue progress on the county’s pipeline of more than 10,000 new affordable homes and to preserve the affordability of existing homes.

The action follows polling, which shows that with a strong campaign, we can win and that Bay Area residents are ready to go big. We will also need to pass ACA 1, the state constitutional amendment that ensures housing bonds need 55% voter approval, just like local public schools and community colleges. 

This vote wrapped up the lengthy discussion of how the bond would be administered, including a way forward in establishing labor standards. Final approval is scheduled for the entire BAHFA board on June 26th.  

We are building a strong local and regional movement that will ramp up to play an essential role as the campaign season gains momentum. At the regional level, our Bay Area Housing for Allcoalition continues securing endorsements and supporting local efforts. Endorse here!

Here in Santa Clara County, SV@Home and Working Partnerships USA coordinates the work surrounding this potential ballot measure and its voter approval.  There are opportunities for you to plug in now. Register for SV@Home’s 2024 Housewarming during Affordable Housing Month, which will focus on the bond campaign. To sign up for the campaign newsletter, request info and campaign materials, or schedule a presentation, contact info@siliconvalleyathome.org.

Big thanks to Local Leadership! It is always important to acknowledge our local leaders on the ABAG Executive Board, who strengthened the discussion and voted in support. Supervisor Otto Lee acknowledged the importance of public support and urged his colleagues for a unanimous vote and robust personal advocacy. San Jose Councilmember Rosemary Kamei gave high-spirited support to going big, noting the importance of the oversight plans to assuage concerns and take us to a win. Morgan Hill’s Councilmember, Yvonne Martinez-Beltran, was a big supporter, sharing the challenges of her experience raising a family as a renter. San Jose Councilmembers Peter Ortiz, David Cohen, and Los Altos Councilmember Neysa Fligor joined the vote.