Election Day is less than a week away, and many Americans have already cast their vote early.
Those who haven’t gone yet, however, may want to look at some of the housing decisions that will be on the ballots in their city. Some of the nation’s most expensive housing markets will have propositions on their ballots concerning housing shortages, affordability and the homeless.
Even though neither political candidate has made housing a major part of their campaign, the number of affordable housing measures on the ballots this election show the importance of the subject.
“While homebuyers and renters may be listening closely to the presidential candidates to find out how the election will impact their pursuit of home, they shouldn’t ignore measures in their own back yard,” Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin said. “This is because voters will be deciding on a number of high-caliber and impactful questions at polls in a number of the least affordable cities across the U.S.”
“Voters should educate themselves on how local housing ballot measures will impact housing provision and, ultimately, who will bear the costs of that provision,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin added that housing ballot initiatives ultimately ask voters who should foot the bill for any policy: housing paid for by taxpayers, inclusionary zoning housing development paid for by developers, and rent control or rent stabilization paid for by landlords.
Trulia researched the different housing measures that would be on the ballots this year, making a list of the most important ones. Here are the top ten measures with the most impact and what city they are in:
1. Measure JJJ: Affordable Housing and Labor Standards Related to City Planning
This measure is on the ballots in Los Angeles, and requires developers to set aside affordable housing units in new development projects with over 10 units.
2. Measure HHH: Homelessness Reduction and Prevention, Housing and Facilities Bond
This measure is on the ballots in Los Angeles, and allots a $1.2 billion general obligation bond to fund affordable housing and facilities for homeless. I is repaid through an increase in property tax.
3. 2016 Alameda County Affordable Housing Bond
This measure is on the ballots in Alameda County, California, and allots a $580 million bond dedicated to affordable housing. It is repaid through an increase in property tax.
4. Affordable Housing Bond
This measure is on the ballots in Orange County, California, and allots a $5 million bond to create 1,000 affordable housing units. It is repaid through an increase in property tax.
5. Measure A: Affordable Housing Bond
This measure is on the ballots in Santa Clara County, California, and allots a $950 million bond to create or preserve up to 5,000 affordable housing units. It is repaid by an increase in property tax.
6. Proposition J: Funding for Homelessness and Transportation (and Proposition K: General Sales Tax)
This measure is on the ballots in San Francisco, and allows homeless services to be funded by a dedicated quarter cent increase in sales tax.
7. Affordable Housing Bond Measure 26-179
This measure is on the ballots in Portland, and allots a $258.4 million general obligation bond to fund affordable housing development. It is repaid through property tax increases.
8. 2016 Bond Referendum: Housing Affordability
This measure is on the ballots in Asheville, North Carolina, and allots a $25 million bond to support the Housing Trust Fund. It is repaid through an increase in property tax.
9. Measure M: Increase in Affordable Housing
This measure is on the ballots in San Diego, and increases the maximum number of housing units the city is allowed to develop, construct or acquire from 10,500 to 49,180.
10. Amendment 5: Increasing Income Limit of Affordable Housing Fund
This measure is on the ballots in Honolulu, and increases eligibility limit from 50% to 60% of median income in order to qualify for affordable rental units.
And these are simply a few of the measures on the ballots this November. In San Francisco alone, there are 17 ballot measures for affordable housing.
Love them? Hate them? Either way, get out and vote. Election day is this upcoming Tuesday.