June 15, 2017

How Does Measure A Work?

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Text of Measure A

Measure A would allow the County to borrow up to $950 million by issuing general obligation bonds. The County would use this money to acquire or improve real property to provide affordable housing for populations that face challenges securing stable housing. People eligible for this housing would include:

  • veterans,
  • seniors,
  • people with disabilities,
  • low-income individuals and families with incomes no higher than 80% of the area median income,
  • moderate-income individuals and families with incomes between 80% and 120% of the area median income,
  • current and former foster youth,
  • victims of abuse,
  • homeless people, and
  • people with mental illness or substance abuse-related illnesses.

Housing acquired or improved using bond funds could be sold or rented at below-market rates. Bond funds also could be used to provide housing in connection with supportive mental health and substance abuse services.

How is Measure A Funded?

California law allows jurisdictions to issue general obligation bonds with approval of two-thirds of the voters. With the approval of Measure A, the County of Santa Clara can now borrow up to $950 million by issuing general obligation bonds. The County will pay debt service on the bonds by raising property taxes. First year costs are estimated at $12.66 per $100,000 of assessed valuation. Using this calculation, the owner of a home assessed at $500,000, will pay $63.30 more a year in property taxes.

Eligible Uses of the Funds

Because the Measure is funded with general obligation bonds, the proceeds of the bonds can only be used to acquire or improve real property. The County will allocate additional funding to ensure that appropriate social services are provided to residents of the new housing.

Of the total:

  • $700 million will be allocated for Permanent Supportive Housing and housing for Extremely Low Income Households (those earning 30% of area median income and below).
  • $100 million will be allocated for rental housing for Very Low Income Households (those earning between 31 and 50% of area median income).
  • Up to $150 million will be made available for housing for households earning up to 120% of area median income. No more than $50 million may be used to assist first-time homebuyers.

Process for Receipt of Funds

The County is developing the application process for these funds, and expects to make its first funding awards in the fall of 2017.

Bond Oversight

The County has established a Citizens’ Oversight Committee to serve as an advisory body to the Board of Supervisors and the public. This Committee will be charged with:

  • Advising on whether the bond funds are being used for the intended purpose
  • Advising on whether the bond funds are being spent in an efficient, effective, and timely manner
  • Advising on whether the issuance of bonds and investment of bond proceeds is fiscally sound
  • Recommending any changes to the implementation of the bond
  • Conducting an annual review

View the Citizens’ Oversight Committee roster.

An independent auditor will report to the Committee to review the expenditure of bond proceeds and ensure compliance with legal requirements.